Casino workers struggle in reversal of fortune
Nineteen years into working as a cook at Atlantic City's Showboat Casino, Dave Rose is counting the weeks until he and about 2,000 workers lose their jobs when the casino is shuttered at the end of the summer.
The Showboat will be the second major casino to close in this struggling New Jersey shore city this year, a trend that has tourism officials talking about revamping the aging gambling Mecca to broaden its appeal beyond bachelor parties and bus loads of retirees, with more family-friendly attractions.
“They've been saying that for 10 years,” said Rose, who holds out little hope of that strategy working and fears he will have a hard time finding a job that matches the $18.18 per hour he earns at the Showboat.
“There aren't too many good-paying jobs out there,” he said. The unemployment rate in the city stood at 10.3 percent in May, among the highest of any major metropolitan area and well above the national rate, which was at 6.3 percent in May, and has since fallen to 6.1 percent in June.
Atlantic City, which once held a lucrative East Coast gambling monopoly, has fallen hard. Gaming revenue has fallen to $2.8 billion, a little more than half its 2006 peak of $5.2 billion.
The decline reflects the opening of new casinos in the northeastern United States in recent years: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Connecticut have casinos and Massachusetts is in the process of awarding licenses.
One of the main questions for officials and workers in Atlantic City is, when Caesars Entertainment Corp. pulls the plug on the Showboat on Aug. 31, how many of the city's remaining 10 casinos will survive.
The Revel casino and resort, which was a centerpiece of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's effort to bring Las Vegas-quality gambling to Atlantic City's declining gaming business when it opened in April 2012, last month filed for bankruptcy for the second time.
The casino, which employs 3,140 workers and is losing $2 million a week even in the peak summer season, is trying to line up a buyer. If it doesn't find one in the next few weeks, it plans to close.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Car dealers find silver lining in cloud of vehicle recalls
- Russian consumer watchdog targets McDonald’s items
- Export-Import Bank in dispute in Congress
- China pork giant WH Group makes 2nd IPO attempt
- JetBlue considers charging for first checked bag
- EPA failing to stop natural gas pipeline leaks, internal watchdog says
- Plug-in Accord makes gas station visits rare
- 2 cars put 50 mpg in rearview
- Economists cite signs of strength
- Retailer rolls dice on TargetExpress
- Engine that quits a mystery