By Matt Goldstein
It has already started. The death of Atlantic City is in fact underway. The new Pennsylvania casinos have stuck a dagger in the heart of the Atlantic City economy. With 8 new casino’s in Eastern PA alone and more on the way, Atlantic City casinos are dying fast. The premiere Casino attraction and nightlife in Atlantic City, the Borgata, is taking a major hit. The Borgata poker room is the biggest and best poker room on the entire East Coast and one of the biggest attractions in all of Atlantic City. However, there are actually more poker games going on right now at Parx casino in Bensalem PA. A few years ago when Parx casino opened this would have been unthinkable, but the action has literally changed cities. Parx casino in Bensalem and Harrah’s casino in Chester are just 20 minutes from downtown Philadelphia as opposed to the hour and 15 minutes drive to Atlantic City. Not to mention, the Sugarhouse casino, which is actually in downtown Philadelphia.
These casino’s blanket the entire Philadelphia metro area with Chester in the south off just minutes off I-95 and 476, Bensalem in the north minutes off of I-95 and the turnpike, and the Sands in Bethlehem just off of 476. These casino’s were strategically placed to do just that, blanket 20 million people with no need to travel anywhere else to get their fix. These casino’s are also stepping the entertainment attractions with boxing, upscale restaurants, concerts and comp giveaways.
Growing up in Bensalem I’m happy for my hometown economy but spending most of my getaway weekends in Atlantic City and Margate, covering boxing events, hitting the bars, restaurants and casino’s and the beach, it’s heartbreaking to see one of my favorite places in the world take such a serious hit. The death of Atlantic City will not only hurt the residents and workers of Atlantic City, but it will also hurt the surrounding resort towns of Brigantine, Ventnor, Margate, Longport, Ocean City, Somers Point and more. The property values and economies of these beach towns are intrinsically intertwined to Atlantic City. Death of Atlantic City is imminent. Hopefully the surrounding cities can take preventative measures before taking the hit as well.
Part 2 Coming Soon