💰 Atlantic City: The Fall of the Boardwalk Empire - The American Prospect

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As more casinos close, MarketWatch explores what life after gambling could look like in Atlantic City.


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Boardwalk Empire- Nucky attempts to trade Thompson machine guns for whiskey

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The seaside resort of Atlantic City is reeling from a spate of casino closures after losing its gambling monopoly, but "Las Vegas of the East".


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The seaside resort of Atlantic City is reeling from a spate of casino closures after losing its gambling monopoly, but "Las Vegas of the East".


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Arnold Rothstein seduces Nucky Thompson at casino in HBO's series Boardwalk Empire

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The empty casino buildings along the city's fabled boardwalk stand as grim totems to the perils of seizing on gambling as the antidote to.


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This year alone, four casinos have shut down in America's infamous east-coast gambling resort. An estimated 10, jobs will be lost. Can this.


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This year alone, four casinos have shut down in America's infamous east-coast gambling resort. An estimated 10, jobs will be lost. Can this.


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As more casinos close, MarketWatch explores what life after gambling could look like in Atlantic City.


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Boardwalk Empire series premiere recap: Clams, Casinos. Martin Scorsese's new HBO series reminds us that Prohibition was (sometimes.


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Boardwalk Empire- Meyer Lansky beats up the man who berated Rothstein

What could go wrong? It wasn't supposed to be this way. A casino referendum that would site two more casinos in northern New Jersey will come before voters in November, 40 years after Atlantic City embarked on its ill-fated wager. Voters approved casinos in a statewide referendum, after initially rejecting them, amid considerable industry hype. Asked about the turmoil in Trenton, Guardian takes the high road. They've spent millions on upgrades to their facilities. No one expected that the casinos themselves would fall on their own hard times as they did once casinos started opening in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, and on Native American tribal lands. The gambling industry would provide jobs and send money back into the community that had been in a steady decline after World War II-that was the theory, anyway. Once the Great Recession hit, the casino market was already oversaturated, and four of the 12 casinos in Atlantic City went belly up. The financial markets responded as markets are wont to do when uncertainty reigns: Moody's Investors Service promptly downgraded Atlantic City's bond rating and warned that other Garden State municipalities might be in for similar bond market treatment if the state leaders can't end the impasse soon. But coming up with a rescue plan has brought out the worst in New Jersey's already combative politicians. Atlantic City made a bad bet, yoking its economic aspirations to a single industry in a market that has since become saturated with casinos all up and down the East Coast. Many of the city's initial casino hires were experienced casino workers from Las Vegas or the Caribbean. When the city was more flush with money, casino operators' dollars flowed into casino improvements rather than into urban redevelopment projects. State legislative leaders have pushed their own plans , which Christie has categorically rejected. Poverty and crime increased. But when the governor is Chris Christie, all bets are off. That includes not only usual political suspects and casino operators who've long dominated life in Atlantic City, but the neighborhood leaders and small-business owners in the city's African American, Latino, and Asian communities who have been left out of discussions for decades. Atlantic City could have improved its outlook by attracting new industries or even boosting its tourism offerings. A fiscal calamity of this magnitude should be the catalyst for collaboration. Meanwhile, Atlantic City may be in fiscal turmoil, but the casino industry continues to vacuum up money. Your donation keeps this site free and open for all to read. The majority-minority city never had any sort of "social compact" that required casino companies to provide job training and to hire local residents. But that rosy scenario never materialized. This being Jersey, he or she may have to come equipped to knock heads, figuratively speaking. The American Prospect depends on reader support. They've also agreed on a new formula to distribute gambling revenues to the city. In , visions of dollars sloshing into municipal and state coffers lured New Jersey voters into establishing casino gambling into Atlantic City. There are "wow venues," as the mayor calls them, too, an entertainment center in a former casino and units of fresh market-rate housing. The crisis finds Christie picking fights with his colleagues; this week he called Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, a fellow Republican, " a liar. In fact, everything. There is plenty of blame to parcel out in the Atlantic City saga. He reeled off several new job-creating and revenue-generating projects: a Stockton University satellite campus; a South Jersey Gas headquarters; a call center that will provide new jobs. Subscribe Donate My Account. Today, about 35 percent of the city's 40, residents live in poverty. Yet as grim as the situation is in Atlantic City, the cautionary tale hasn't persuaded other states or localities to abandon gambling as an economic development strategy. But Atlantic City remains on the hook for property-tax givebacks although the casinos have recently agreed to embark on a plan to help the city pay down that debt and further belt-tightening. Four of Trump's holdings went bankrupt and few locals have kind things to say about him. The casino industry's business model-to drain dollars as quickly as possible from the pockets of people who, for the most part, can least afford to lose them-meant that residents had less to spend on local businesses and communities, which suffered in turn. Implausible as it may seem, what Atlantic City needs and has never had is an economic development czar who could bring together the multiple stakeholders to rebuild the boardwalk empire. But prior to Guardian's election as mayor in , the city had suffered a leadership void for decades, plagued by a procession of corrupt or inept mayors; the city missed multiple economic development opportunities to beef up its tourism offerings, provide job training for residents, or even to join forces with other South Jersey municipalities on regional development strategies. Back to Search Results.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} Whites fled as African Americans continued to move into the city and take up public-sector and service jobs. Your voluntary contribution helps keep this website paywall-free. Skip to main content. According to Guardian, the crux of the problem is a flawed casino-revenue distribution formula that brings in hundreds of millions for the state, but delivers casino revenue to Atlantic City only in the form of property taxes. Even more troubling is that New Jersey has failed to learn the lesson served up by the Atlantic City debacle. Give what you can Casinos did well for a few years, and millions of visitors poured into the city. But if you have the ability to support independent, non-profit journalism, we are so grateful. Christie wants to strip city officials of their powers, leaving them essentially figureheads, and unions of their collective-bargaining rights proposals, which are widely considered to be unworkable. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}Four decades ago, Atlantic City rolled the dice on the city's future-and lost. Atlantic City had the only casinos outside Las Vegas; it also had unemployment, crime, and decaying neighborhoods. It was the ultimate Faustian bargain: Gambling industry investments would save the fading grand dame of the Jersey Shore. But for Guardian, the casino hand has played out and he isn't waiting for Christie to play nicely in the sandbox or a czar to parachute in. You can sign up as a subscriber with a range of benefits, including an opt-in to receive the print magazine by mail. These include New York state, which has already approved three new casinos, and Florida, where Miami is flirting with the idea of casino development. Atlantic City ushered in the era of "gaming," as the industry likes to call it, on the East Coast-but today, city and state officials are bickering over last-ditch proposals to pull the city back from the precipice of bankruptcy. The empty casino buildings along the city's fabled boardwalk stand as grim totems to the perils of seizing on gambling as the antidote to municipal distress. According to a Federal Reserve of Philadelphia study of the city, Atlantic City's rates of poverty and unemployment have long been higher than state averages, and high-school graduation rates, lower.