Atlantic City, with its casinos, had for so many years enjoyed the status of being the runner up capital for gambling. Las Vegas with its glitz held the star spot, but Atlantic City played the role of the alternative location. As a result, the region grew into an economic power house. Other communities watched as Atlantic City’s population soared and its tax coffers overflowed. Eventually, other cities realized that the benefits from Gambling outweighed the perceived threats. It took almost thirty years, but the monopoly the City held as an alternative to the desert, Sin City faded.
Casino after Casino would be erected as venture capital poured in. State after State did not want to miss out on the promise of Gambling proceeds. Many saw the answer to their prayers. At last the politicians eyed an opportunity to fill those ugly revenue holes. To them they viewed only a wining situation as tax revenues from the evil gamblers seemed the perfect solution.
What Does This Mean for Atlantic City?
For Atlantic City this would be a death knell. The string of announced Casino closings rises as competition for those too few gamblers grows. These closings impact thousands of workers who were already struggling with reduced hours and now they are faced with impending layoffs. For some it just seems too much to bear.
The simple questions are asked. How will I feed my children? How will I pay for gas, and it gets worse for the single mother. To many, the thought of six months of unemployment seems to be a kick in the teeth. They point out that they never once in fifteen or twenty years applied for unemployment, and then to learn that it will only last for six month. They don’t see the justification; they smell inequity, and injustice. There seems little alternative given the unemployment numbers in the area. Atlantic City’s unemployment rate sat at 13.1% in June. New Jersey’s rate is only 6.4%. What miracle can be found to replace those kinds of losses? Atlantic City seems besieged and its beleaguered workforce suffers as they scramble. Someone should have seen this coming.