As casinos close doors, Atlantic City residents hope for better

All bets are off at one of Atlantic City's landmark casinos. The Showboat casino closed its doors today after a quarter century on the Boardwalk. Two more casinos are folding over the next few weeks, leaving thousands out of work and a city in need of luck.

After a 27-year-run on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, the Mardi Gras-themed Showboat Casino Hotel closed its doors.

Yomary Blanco and her husband are among the 5,000-plus casino workers who are about to lose their jobs.

"It's sad to see it go," she said. "We couldn't believe it, you know. We couldn't believe it was actually happening."

Ronnie Downing works as a kitchen steward at Revel Hotel and Casino. It will close Tuesday morning.

"We all have to go through this," she said. "Weather this storm. We are used to this in Atlantic City. Whether it is an economic storm or a natural disaster, we have to come together, workout the problems and get organized and move forward."

Though the city and the state is providing employment support, Pastor David McGettigan said providing peace of mind is his department.

"This might be the silver lining out of Super Storm Sandy," McGettigan said. "That we are more ready for something like this, and to let people know that you are not going to go under. We didn't go under from Sandy, and we're not going to go under from this."

Atlantic City has been struggling to compete with the influx of new casinos opening in nearby states. Mayor Don Guardian says though the closures are disappointing, the city will go on.

If you look up and down now, you see there's families," Guardian explained. "There's kids here, they're going [to] Steel Pier, they're going to the aquarium, they're doing a dolphin boat ride, they're going down and visiting Ripley's Believe It or Not.

"So the idea that maybe a few years ago that the only reason you come to Atlantic City is for gambling is gone. You come to Atlantic City because we're the hip, urban area on the Jersey Shore."

Yomary Blanco feels Atlantic City has a lot of untapped potential.

"You just got to keep fighting," she said. "There's other things that can be done here in the city, not only gambling."

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

On Twitter