Gaming industry in Atlantic City suffers another loss as popular casino Showboat closes its doors while other gambling providers await the same fate.
After years of providing gaming services in Atlantic City, Showboat has succumbed to the same fate as other casinos in the once prosperous gambling town. The famous gaming destination initially opened its doors to the public back in 1987, however now the New Orleans-themed casino had its doors locked by the local government.
Showboat is not the only one suffering from the bad gaming economy. A two-year-old casino known as Revel used to host some of the most spectacular gaming tournaments and had amazing US poker rooms. Now the casino is also on the verge of being shut down.
Numerous big name casinos go bust
• Showboats casino latest to close down in Atlantic City
• Trump Plaza next in line to shut down
• Officials believe focusing on hospitality might revive the economy
There are several reasons for the downturn in Atlantic City’s economy, however industry experts attribute the blame to competing states. New gambling destinations have sprung out in recent years which took away a large number of regulars from Atlantic City to seek new gaming adventures.
One of the town’s signature gaming centers also stopped their operations at the beginning of the year due to lackluster revenue performance. The Atlantic Club closed down in January, an event that reverberated throughout the town as it started a chain reaction of casinos shutting down. Trump Plaza is the next gaming giant in line ready to cease operations.
The result of all this means that thousands of workers have been left jobless while many more fear for the worst. This is a stark contrast from the city that used to be synonymous with glitz and glamor for decades before the gaming industry suffered a severe downturn.
Now local government officials are looking at options of saving the city which has given birth to the idea of converting it to its original purpose, being a seaside resort. Revised US gambling laws have allowed the state offer online gaming sites, however results from that endeavor have also been disappointing.
Many lose their jobs as a result of the downturn in the industry
A bartender by the name of Sue Dell used to work at Showboat’s House of Blues restaurant for 12 years and laments the saddening events that are currently happening. “My mother and father used to bring my sister and I on the boardwalk back in the ’40s. We would get dressed up, and it was different. It isn’t like it is today.”
After losing her job in June she was forced to sell her house in nearby Egg Harbor Township. I thought, well, if I don’t have a job I won’t be able to afford my mortgage, so I hired a real estate agent and I put my house up for sale and it sold in one da. I lived there for 11 years.”
Arnaldo Leggi was another long-serving employee at the once prominent Showboat. Since the casino opened to the general public in 1987, Leggi has been working for them on and off, while now he eyes a career by performing in comedy clubs. He recalls, “I opened this place, and now I’m going to close it. I’m not feeling too good about it.”
Reshaping the focus of the town to hospitality seems promising
According to gambling news not everyone has the same opinion when it comes to casinos shutting down. In fact, some people view it as a hidden opportunity for Atlantic City’s other remaining businesses to experience a boost and strengthen their performance in the coming time.
84-year-old Art Pote has been living in a rented apartment at the Taj Mahal casino for nearly a decade, whereas before he used to travel to AC from Brick, New Jersey on the weekends. “We just cannot support 12 casinos. It could be the beginning of a better day. It’s going to hurt, but the ones that remain will do better.”
Pote expressed his confidence in how the local government is attempting to reshape the city’s economy by relying less on the gambling industry and focusing more attention to hospitality in general. “They need to run this place like a resort town, not what it turned into.”