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Atlantic City Looks To Cash In Outside Of Casinos

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- To be successful, Atlantic City must be much more than a casino town, officials and observers say.

The situation is similar to the one Las Vegas faced in the 1980s when Atlantic City started chipping away at its business, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian told WCBS 880's Levon Putney.

At that time, gambling accounted for nearly 60 percent of the revenue generated on the Vegas strip, Guardian said. Now it's about 35 percent.

Atlantic City Looks To Cash In Outside Of Casinos

"And that's what Atlantic City needs to be going to," Guardian said.

Two Atlantic City casinos closed this week, and Trump Plaza is set be shuttered Sept. 16. That will drop the number of gambling halls there to eight -- down from 12 a year ago.

Guardian said he expects gaming revenue to even out at about $2 billion. The city is now working on building noncasino revenue.

Monopoly Hits Atlantic City Boardwalk

More needed attractions are on the way, said Gary Hill of the Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association.

Cirque du Soleil is coming to town. There also will be hockey, wrestling and three new beach bars.

"It should really be a whole community of wonderful events," Hill said.

And of course, there's the beach.

"What distinguishes us from Vegas?" Guardian said. "We both get a lot of sand. We just got an ocean on one side of ours and the boardwalk on the other."

Guardian said the city is also working to bring a Latitude 360 there, which would be a large adult playground with movies, bowling, comedy and more.

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