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NJ Lawmaker Hopes His Bills Will Stabilize Atlantic City’s Struggling Economy

By David Madden

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — There is a push in Atlantic City to force the owners of the Showboat Casino to sell rather than close the property at the end of next month.

There’s also a call to protect the city’s casinos from a potential in-state rival up north.

Assemblyman Chris Brown says he’s been told by Caesar’s Entertainment that Showboat’s fate may not be set in stone just yet.

“It is my understanding right now that they are going to put the casino out for sale, and they are telling us that they will accept any offer to continue to run it as a casino hotel,” Brown said today.


(The Showboat Hotel-Casino, on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ.  Photo by David Madden)

(The Showboat Hotel-Casino, on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ. Photo by David Madden)


The corporation confirms it will accept any “reasonable” offer and indicates some “preliminary interest.”

Francine Shertel has worked at Showboat for 27 years.

“For the last three years they have not put a dime into this place,” she says.  “It’s gone downhill.  But you know what? The people keep coming.”

Assemblyman Brown said he will introduce measures limiting corporations to two licenses each, going forward, and requiring any profitable casino that closes to return any financial incentives previously given to it.

As for talk of opening a new casino in the Meadowlands, he said that could divert up to 45 percent of Atlantic City’s gambling revenue.   He thinks there should be no expansion of casino gambling until Atlantic City sees at least 50 percent of its economy based on non-gambling sources.


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