ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP)Atlantic City has lost nearly half its casino revenue over the past eight years as competition in nearby states cannibalized its market and drove four casinos out of business.

Figures released Wednesday by the state’s Gaming Enforcement Division show the casinos took in $2.74 billion in 2014, down 48 percent from a high of $5.2 billion in 2006.

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The decline would have been greater without the $122 million that Internet gambling provided last year.

Four of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos closed in 2014 — The Atlantic Club, Showboat, Revel and Trump Plaza.

In 2014, Atlantic City’s casinos took in 4.5 percent less than they did in 2013.

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Excluding casinos that closed last year, the surviving eight gambling halls saw their revenue increase by nearly 8 percent, to $2.48 billion.

With Atlantic City’s numbers lagging, lawmakers are looking to introduce a referendum to allow casinos outside of Atlantic City. The Meadowlands and Jersey City are two candidates.

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