Atlantic City, Struggling in Best Times, Faces New Blows (Bloomberg News)

November 6, 2012 – Atlantic City (Baa1 / 048339QA6), New Jersey, struggles at the best of times, with a quarter of its 40,000 people living in poverty. Now, it’s contending with the lingering blows brought by Sandy, just as a new storm brews off the East Coast. About 1.4 million utility customers still had no power yesterday, more than half of them in New Jersey. When the storm came through a week ago, there was flooding in much of Atlantic City, which perches on a barrier island. It temporarily shut the casinos, which brought in $3.3 billion in revenue last year and have been the city’s lifeblood since the 1970s, when gambling was legalized to boost the ailing economy. Protected by dunes built along the beach, the casinos opened up again last week, their red marquees lighting up the night sky. Yesterday on Atlantic Avenue, restaurants were open, buses running and stores stocked as people went to work. “We’re just glad the water’s gone,” she said. As she spoke, a passerby shouted: “Atlantic City: We’re still here.” The tourists aren’t. With the East Coast still struggling in the storm’s aftermath, the casinos have been forced to wait. Late yesterday, rows of slot machines were vacant at Bally’s casino. A few dozen card tables were closed, and at three others, dealers waited idly for players.

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