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Christie: 2014 A ‘Pivotal’ Year For Struggling Atlantic City Casinos

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Atlantic City casinos (file/credit: Getty Images)

Atlantic City casinos (file/credit: Getty Images)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It’s now Year 4 of Gov. Chris Christie’s five-year marketing plan to revive Atlantic City’s sagging casino district — and it’s not getting off to a good start.

As WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel is closing in two weeks, leaving 11 gaming halls in Atlantic City.

Nongaming revenue has been strong, but gaming revenue has been declining, having lost more than $2 billion since 2006.

Christie said Wednesday he will work with Atlantic City’s new mayor, Don Guardian, to see what can be done, but if no progress is made by Year 5, he’ll consider allowing for casinos to be built in the Meadowlands or elsewhere.

“It is a very pivotal year, but it is a year where we have to start showing significant results,” Christie said.

Christie is hoping the addition of United Airlines flights to Atlantic City International Airport from the carrier’s two largest hubs, Chicago and Houston, will change the gaming district’s fortunes.

That will “make anybody in the country who wants to fly to Atlantic City, be able to fly to Atlantic City on one of the world’s largest airlines in a much more convenient and easy way,” he said.

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