Last December, Israel Joffe at Fox News argued Atlantic City may go the way of Detroit. At the same time, State Senate President Stephen Sweeney in New Jersey and Chris Christie said they would not let Atlantic City "become Detroit." Now, just six months later, Atlantic City is facing a wave of casino closings. The city started the year with 12 casinos. By Labor Day, it may have just nine.
Economists have long known about the "casino saturation" in northeastern America, but it's now becoming a reality for Atlantic City. Revel, which has been open only two years, has said they are closing if they are unable to find a buyer. Caesars Entertainment was more direct, saying there are too many casinos in New Jersey. They have decided to close one of their four casinos there, the Showboat, on August 31st.
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian is looking at the silver lining, hoping that as casinos close shop, Atlantic City can create new and different vacation destinations. "Although it is sad today, it's part of the transition that Atlantic City needs to have," he said, "There is pain as we go through this transition, but it's critical for Atlantic City to realize we are no longer the monopoly of gaming on the East Coast. If you build more and more casinos and don't increase the amount of people coming to them, you're sharing that wealth. We're just going through a very difficult time."