Atlantic City has seen numerous ups and downs since its early days as an East Coast resort town. After the beauty pageants, horse jumping, and taffy lost its allure in the mid-20th century, the Jersey playland turned to gambling in 1978. The addition of casinos to the waterfront was a boon, initially; Atlantic City was pulling in more casino profit than Vegas in the 1980s. That began to change not long after, when casinos opened in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Connecticut.
Trying to keep up with Vegas, AC recently opened two mega-casino/hotels, the Borgata and the Revel. While the former proved a success, even attracting LGBT tourists to AC, the latter was an unmitigated flop and closed this week after only two years in operation. The Revel's ban on smoking, buffets, and player's clubs contributed to its demise, analysts say.
The Showboat Atlantic City also just shuttered, and the Atlantic Club closed earlier this year. Next to close, on September 15, is the 30-year-old Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. While tens of thousands are now out of work, some believe Atlantic City could not support 12 casinos and will do better with eight. Read more here and see pics of the classic casinos on the next pages: