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Atlantic City Mayor Optimistic Despite the Breaking Wave of Casino Closures

(Atlantic City mayor Don Guardian, on the boardwalk, holds a "Don't Stop Believing" promotional coaster.  Photo by David Madden)

(Atlantic City mayor Don Guardian, on the boardwalk, holds a “Don’t Stop Believing” promotional coaster. Photo by David Madden)

David Madden David Madden
David Madden is a Philadelphia native with virtually a lifetime of...
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By David Madden

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Labor Day may not be much of a holiday for several thousand workers at the Showboat and Revel casinos in Atlantic City, both of which will be closing their doors.

And Trump Plaza is set to join them in a couple of weeks.

City officials, too, are bracing for the pain to come.

A job and assistance office opens Wednesday at the Atlantic City Convention Center, and they expect to be busy.

Mayor Don Guardian concedes that the casino closings are a necessary part of Atlantic City’s transformation into a town not so dependent on casino gambling.

What’s in the shore town’s future?

“I think you’ll see fewer casinos,” Guardian said today.  “The market is going to determine how many casinos we end up with and how many are going to turn into hotels.”

He’s convinced that both Revel and Showboat will reopen at some point, but in what form is an open question.

But Guardian points out that this town attracts 25 million visitors a year.  Conventions, shoppers, and vacationers could provide the bulk of business going forward.

But first, he acknowledges, they have to take care of those residents about to hit the unemployment line.

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