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Neighboring towns affected by AC casino shutdowns

Atlantic City‘s casino closures aren’t only disappointing for the city’s own workforce and residents. Neighboring towns are feeling the pain as well.

The ripple effect is evident in nearby Pleasantville, where more than 500 residents are out of a job due to the end of Showboat and Revel, as well as Trump Plaza, which should go dark Sept. 16.

Atantic City from the air
Atantic City from the air (Tim Larsen, Governor’s Office)

Mayor Jesse Tweedle said the “most dangerous side effect” is that investors are already hesitant about participating in the town’s projects. Housing and retail establishments are more of a gamble, with hundreds of additional residents on unemployment and some of them exiting the town completely.

“Just on my block alone where I live, two families have uprooted and moved to Baltimore because that’s where the new casino opened,” Tweedle said.

The mayor of Atlantic City said representatives from gaming markets outside New Jersey are on hand for a weeklong resource center meant to assist workers affected by the closures.

Tweedle said he’s also concerned about the future of AC Linen Supply, one of Pleasantville’s largest employers.

“With the advent of these casinos closing, their work is going to decrease,” he said.

Pleasantville may hold a town hall meeting in the near future to work on getting people back in the workforce locally.

In Egg Harbor Township, a total of 800 individuals are said to be directly affected.

“This is going to have a devastating effect on many families — families with children in college, families with mortgages, taxes,” said EHT Mayor James “Sonny” McCullough.

The town held a seminar Wednesday night to advise the newly-jobless of what resources are available for assistance.

McCullough said the town’s businesses could be affected, meanwhile, if less people travel their way to gamble.

“There’s three main arteries going into Atlantic City, and two of them go through Egg Harbor Township,” he said.

According to McCullough, the town was against the construction of Revel from the start. There was no need for an additional casino, he said, and if Revel succeeded, it would only take business away from the already-existing casinos.

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