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By David Madden

ATLANTIC CITY (CBS) — A new poll suggests that New Jersey residents don’t have a lot of faith in efforts to turn Atlantic City’s economic situation around.

The Rutgers-Eagleton poll has been looking at residential perception of Atlantic City since the early 80’s, a few years after gaming was introduced there. The latest survey looks rather bleak, according to poll director David Redlawsk.

“Nearly two thirds of New Jerseyans say Atlantic City’s best days are behind it, while just 22 percent see the resort as having its best days yet to come.”

The rest are unsure. He concedes the closing of four casinos, maybe five this year certainly fuels that perception.

Sixty-three-percent  believe the casinos reap whatever benefits gambling may provide there. Twenty-five-percent think city residents share in the bounty and efforts to make Atlantic City more than a gambling haven have yet to be embraced within the state.

Three out of five still see the town known only for casinos.

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