The state of affairs in Atlantic City continues to get more tense. The city’s mayor Don Guardian has threatened to shut down City Hall this Friday and said he will cease all non-essential government services unless he can get a bail out from the state. However, Governor Chris Christie is having no part of the threats:
“I tell you what we’re not going to do. We’re not write a blank check to the government,” Christie said to a local radio host in an interview. Christie continued, “They should not play chicken with me or test me. I will not change my view on this. The state is not providing any more money. It’s over. The credit card has been cut up and canceled. They have to be responsible.”
To many analysts Christie’s comments sound like it could have come right out of the mouth of his new friend Donald Trump who has stated many times that he abhors bailouts (except when it’s his business that are about to go under) but the truth is that Christie’s concerns are justified. Atlantic City has been hemorrhaging money from state coffers for years as casino revenues continue to decline and residents continue to flee the city in droves. Atlantic City has a deficit of over $120 million and that number is just expected to grow. As well the city owes several casinos money for tax refunds and Borgata has gone to court to try and force the city government to pay it half of the $150 million it is owed. City officials argued that if it is forced to pay this out all at once it will force them into bankruptcy. Four casinos have closed their doors in the last 4 years and according to Moody’s up to 5 others will likely be forced to close in the near future as well. And to most observers it appears that everything on The Boardwalk will be closed by 2020.
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