By David Madden

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) – We’ll crown a new Miss America tonight in Atlantic City. Two days later the Trump Plaza, right next door to Convention Hall, will close its doors for good, making it the fourth casino to close this year — the third in less than a month.

But for all the pain, one expert says things in Atlantic City are not as bad as they seem.

The casinos will likely take in $2.5-billion this year…third best in the nation. Analyst Israel Posner at the Stockton State College of New Jersey says those casinos that have survived do so by following an old adage: You have to spend money to make money.

Take the Golden Nugget in the Marina District for example:

“They put in about $150-million upgrading the rooms, upgrading the casino, the entire look and feel of the place,” Posner says. “It looks fantastic and the marketplace has rewarded them.”

As opposed to the Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal, which could close in two months…properties that were not kept up.

Still, it’ll take a smart and diversified investment to keep customers — and their dollars — coming in.

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