Struggling Atlantic City rescued for now

Struggling Atlantic City rescued for now

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 Totally Gaming
Governor Chris Christie must still ratify the agreement

Atlantic City has been saved from the immediate threat of bankruptcy after New Jersey lawmakers reached a deal to aid the ailing gambling resort.

Atlantic City has struggled due to increased competition from other gambling centres across the US, and saw four of its 12 casinos close in 2014, contributing to a sharp fall in tax revenue. Casino revenue totalled $5.2bn (€4.7bn) in 2006 but was just $2.2bn in 2015 and is set to fall further this year. Some of the suffering gambling operators have successfully challenged the size of their tax bills, causing the property-tax base to tumble by more than two thirds since 2010, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

A New Jersey assembly committee on Monday approved a measure to extend bridge loans and grants to Atlantic City, which would have to come up with an acceptable five-year plan or be put under state control.

The agreement, which both state chambers will need to approve, gives Atlantic City 150 days to present its budget proposals. The deal will also need to be ratified by Governor Chris Christie, who has previously supported plans for the state to take over the running of Atlantic City.

"Atlantic City will now have time to take care of their own house," Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto said before the committee voted to move the bills forward. Prieto added that he is confident Christie will support the package. says: “Atlantic City has been hit hard by competition, and this will intensify further should plans for casinos in other parts of New Jersey be passed by voters later this year.”

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