For many years, New Jersey has treated Atlantic City as its own personal bank, siphoning money from the area in order to further benefit the state’s needs. This was all well and good while the city remained popular with gamblers due to its unique appeal, but in recent years the area has lost its sense of individuality. With the dazzling lights of Las Vegas shining ever brighter, coupled with the rise of new casino resorts in Connecticut and neighbouring Pennsylvania, Atlantic City has seen its tourism levels plummet. This fall from grace has seen the city lose $2.7 billion in revenue since 2006.
Donald Trump has recently found himself in the spotlight, and not just for his questionable views on politics. Workers at Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City have been forced to give up their pension and health insurance benefits as his property hurtles towards bankruptcy. The Republican presidential candidate opened the casino in 1990 and, at the time, it was the largest casino-hotel complex in the world, but now the Indian themed resort faces an uncertain future thanks to a huge slump in profits.
Since 2014, the city has been forced to say goodbye to four of its casinos, resulting in the loss of around 8,000 jobs, a trend that seems set to continue if cuts cannot be made. Having legalised gambling in the 1970s as a way to increase revenue, Atlantic City now finds itself staring into a financial abyss. With increased spending, mounting debts, and property values declining at an alarming rate, the future of this former hotspot for gamblers looks very bleak.