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Poll: Should the State Keep Betting on Atlantic City?

Is there still a smart way to invest in AC, or is it now a matter of good money after bad?

With the closure of the luxurious Revel casino and nearby Showboat last week, as well as the bankruptcy and anticipated closings of the two Trump Entertainment casinos, Atlantic City’s future -- and the state’s role in it -- is very much in doubt. Gov. Chris Christie made a big bet on its revival a few years ago, making equity investments in properties and taking over the policing of the downtown casino area. Now that some of the high-profile investments have soured . . .

What do you think the state should do about Atlantic City and gambling in the Garden State?

  • It’s apparent that the state’s politicians, including Christie, now understand that gambling can’t be the only attraction in Atlantic City. It needs to diversify and develop some year-round attractions. It only makes sense for the state to continue to invest in the city. It’s a major New Jersey brand, a key economic center in South Jersey and the Shore, and we need the tax revenues.

  • Large infrastructure investments, like the NJ Performing Arts Center, are required to jumpstart economic development. Atlantic City is no different. Why not build -- or convert some abandoned properties -- into major entertainment complexes. Atlantic City needs to become the entertainment mecca of the East Coast: more shows and theaters, different types of gambling (races and sports betting), world-class beach attractions and golf courses, and indoor arenas for sports and winter activities. If the state had real vision, it could make it happen.

  • Limiting gambling to Atlantic City is an outdated notion, one that doesn’t make sense economically for the state. We need the tax revenue, so we need to allow gambling near where people live -- the Meadowlands in North Jersey or Jersey City. And by doing so, we’ll be providing for laid-off workers. The alternative: Our own residents will be crossing state lines to fill the coffers of other states. As for Atlantic City, the state should be very cautious.

  • Gambling is a bad way to raise money. It is a vice with no redeeming value. So it should come as no surprise that it hasn’t saved Atlantic City and it won’t save any other city or help the state’s tax woes. Here’s an idea: Let’s do the right thing and eliminate gambling, or at least stop its proliferation.

  • We have to stop throwing good money after bad. Christie and his South Jersey friends want us to prop up Atlantic City, but it is troubled for a reason. It is a seedy place and a lost cause. The only money we should spend from here on out is demolition.

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