Four years ago, some Atlantic City casino customers were shelling out $1,000 for a brownie sprinkled with edible gold dust in a Baccarat crystal they could take home. Nowadays, some wait until 11 p.m. to eat so they can get a steak dinner for $2.99. At the beginning of 2007, Atlantic City’s 11 casinos were at the top of a wave of prosperity. Starting with the 1978 opening of Resorts, the nation’s first casino outside Nevada, Atlantic City for years was the only place to play slots, cards, dice or roulette in the eastern half of the United States. The cash kept pouring in, the busloads of visitors kept coming and the revenue charts went one way: straight up. And then, they didn’t. Now, battered by competition from casinos all around it, Atlantic City is in a fight for its very survival. [Source]
Photo: In this May 26, 1978 file photo, New Jersey’s Gov. Brendan Byrne cuts ribbon opening the east’s first gambling casino in Atlantic City. He is surrounded by legislators that voted for the gambling legislation. At the beginning of 2007, Atlantic City’s 11 casinos were at the top of a wave of prosperity.