ATLANTIC CITY - With three casinos shutting down in the next few weeks, Atlantic City is a scrambling resort town.
A city that once thrived on gambling is now suffering, as more and more gamblers place their bets elsewhere. The city will lose money from parking and luxury taxes as Revel, Showboat and Trump Plaza close.
The closures will leave 6,500 workers unemployed. That is nearly one-fourth of the city's casino workforce. Mayor Don Guardian says the city will provide employment training and placement for unemployed workers beginning in October.
The program will be funded by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, and is designed to help 1,200 workers a year.
Programs will also be offered through Atlantic Cape Community College.
Guardian and casino regulators suggested that Atlantic City should become more of a resort destination and not a gambling mecca, but they offered no specifics of how it will get there.
Meanwhile, business leaders in the Meadowlands continued trying to drum up support for a casino there on Tuesday.
"There is more willingness to talk about an expansion of gaming outside of Atlantic City and we hope when that conversation continues, a plan like ours will be looked at seriously," says Jim Kirkos, with the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce.
Last week, a proposal was announced to build a casino and convention center at the sports complex. But New Jersey voters would first have to approve gambling outside of Atlantic City.
Tourism and economic development officials say they expect the remaining eight casinos to be stronger financially, and stress there is still plenty for visitors to do in Atlantic City.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.