Chips are down with Atlantic City casinos closing

STATE — The Associated Press reported that more than 7,000 Atlantic City casino workers — or about one in four — have been warned they could be out of work by the end of the year.

“Trump Plaza sent out closing notices to 1,153 workers Monday, the Showboat is closing Aug. 31, and Revel says it also will shut down if a buyer can’t be found at a bankruptcy court auction next month,” said a story written by Associated Press reporter Wayne Parry. “That could result in a quarter of Atlantic City’s casinos shutting down in just nine months in the oversaturated northeastern gambling market.”

The report said Atlantic City casino revenue peaked at $5.2 billion in 2006, prior to the advent of legal gambling in Pennsylvania, and dropped to $2.86 billion last year.

Atlantic City casinos won $235.9 million in June, an increase of nearly four percent from the $227.1 million in winnings in June 2013, before Internet gambling was legal in New Jersey.

Most of that revenue gain during the month was due to $9.5 million in winnings from online gambling, a market that did not exist a year ago.

More casinos have opened in the northeast region over the past decade than in any other part of the United States, and the expansion is causing upheaval in the region.

States that adopted gambling earlier than their neighbors, such as Delaware, New Jersey and West Virginia, are watching dollars drain away as the proliferation of casinos is testing how many facilities the area can support.

Twenty-six casinos have opened since 2004, fuelling a 39 per cent increase in total annual gambling revenue in the mid-Atlantic and New England, according to a study by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

There now are 24 casinos within 100 miles of Philadelphia, a dramatic change from the early 1990s, when Atlantic City enjoyed an east coast monopoly.

At least a dozen more gambling spots are in the pipeline from Massachusetts to Maryland, raising fears in many states that their casino tax windfall is at risk.

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