The Rise and Fall of Atlantic City?

Wayne Parry of the Associated Press has an interesting article at Yahoo news on the sorry state of the gambling industry in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  It is entitled “Monopoly Lost: Atlantic City’s Rise and Fall.”  Here is a taste:

Four years ago, some Atlantic City casino customers were shelling out $1,000 for a brownie sprinkled with edible gold dust in a Baccarat crystal they could take home.

Nowadays, some wait until 11 p.m. to eat so they can get a steak dinner for $2.99.

At the beginning of 2007, Atlantic City’s 11 casinos were at the top of a wave of prosperity. Starting with the 1978 opening of Resorts, the nation’s first casino outside Nevada, Atlantic City for years was the only place to play slots, cards, dice or roulette in the eastern half of the United States. The cash kept pouring in, the busloads of visitors kept coming and the revenue charts went one way: straight up.
And then, they didn’t. Now, battered by competition from casinos all around it, Atlantic City is in a fight for its very survival.

The resort is furiously trying to remake itself into a vacation destination that happens to have gambling, but with no guarantee it has a winning hand even as other threats loom, including the possible expansion of casinos to north Jersey racetracks and a growing push for online gambling.
Intoxicated by years of success, Atlantic City missed numerous opportunities to diversify its offerings, widen its customer base and fend off competition that clearly was on its way even 20 years ago find out more at

From my historical perspective, the “fall” of Atlantic City occurred a long time ago.  As Bryant Simon has argued in his fabulous  Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America, the real “fall” of this seashore resort city occurred in the late 1960s and it was associated with urban decay, crime, racism, and the introduction, not the decline, of gambling casinos.