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Why Aren’t More NJ Residents Visiting Atlantic City? [POLL/AUDIO]

Despite ongoing efforts to revitalize Atlantic City, casino revenues continue to trend downward in recent years.

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A new poll may offer some reasons as to why this is happening.

The Monmouth University-Asbury Park Press poll finds 44 percent of respondents say they do not like casino gambling, which is why they don’t go to Atlantic City.

“Also, we found that 42 percent feel that there are not enough things to do in Atlantic City other than gambling – even those who are going now still say that there are enough other things to bring people down,” says pollster Patrick Murray.

At the same time, he points out many Garden State residents do not think Atlantic City is much different than other gambling attractions that have been growing in popularity in Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut.

Visitors Fear Crime in Atlantic City

“Most people say the gambling, entertainment and restaurants in Atlantic City are average, so they’re not really drawing them in,” says Murray, “and 33 percent say that a fear of being a crime victim is something that keeps them away from Atlantic City.”

The poll also finds 64 percent of New Jerseyans think Atlantic City has benefited the Garden State, with just 25 percent saying it has not.

Also, 46 percent of state residents believe Atlantic City is better off than it would have been if casino gambling had not been introduced, while 18 percent say it’s worse off.

About half of New Jerseyans indicate that they know the casinos have been losing money in recent years, but Murray says, “Thirty-nine percent say they have been actually making money, so there are some issues with a lot of New Jerseyans not really understanding what those economic impacts are.”

The survey also finds a majority of Garden State residents, 52 percent, think the state should not be involved in improving the AC economy, while 42 percent say the state should play a role.

Murray adds the poll also finds 43 percent of gamblers in New Jersey who go outside of the state “say that the other states casinos offer more to do besides gambling than Atlantic City does, 34 percent say Atlantic City’s casinos are not as nice as those in other states, and 25 percent say they have a better chance of winning at those out of state casinos.”

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