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article imageShowboat Casino closes for good

By Simon Crompton     Sep 2, 2014 in Business
Atlantic City’s iconic Showboat Casino closed its doors for good on Sunday, making it the second casino in the area to close this year.
Showboat had been in operation for 27 years, and was once considered the best gambling house on this side of the nation. Since 2006, however, casino revenues in Atlantic CIty have been on a steady decline.
That year, casinos collectively pulled in over $5 billion for the city. By 2013, that figure had dropped to a little over $2.8 billion. The significant drop in revenue has dealt most of the area’s casinos a dangerous blow as has onle poker tournament events with William Hill.
It has dealt, in fact, four fatal blows. By the end of the year, there will only be eight casinos left in Atlantic City, down from the 12 it started the year with. The Atlantic Club closed before Showboat; Revel Casino and Trump Plaza will both be closed by September 16th.
Only Bogota continues to do relatively well amongst the city’s gambling houses. However, it is not a good sign for the area’s gaming industry that it earns almost double that of its closest competitor, Harrah’s, whose revenues are in decline.
According to NJ.com, Wall Street financial firm Fitch Ratings predicts “that most of the money left on the table by the closed casinos will stay in Atlantic City.” At the least, the city will not lose the entirety of its investment in the gaming industry.
The casino closings are sure to have a significant impact on the city’s coffers and on the area’s economy, however. The gross reductions in revenue have been, and will be, difficult for Atlantic City’s government to navigate.
The biggest challenge, however, is likely to be the massive unemployment that will follow the casino shutdowns. Between the closings of Showboat, Revel, and the Atlantic Club, 6,000 people will be out of work. Trump Plaza will add almost 2,000 people to this number on Sept. 16th.
Ex-casino workers won’t have an easy time finding work elsewhere. Just how Atlantic City officials plan to mitigate the collective economic damage that attenuated revenues, reduced tourism, and unemployment are sure to inflict remains to be worked out.
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