Showboat Casino in Atlantic City, owned by Caesars Entertainment, is closing. Assemblyman Ralph Caputo told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the closure will be devastating for the people that work in the casino.
Caputo said what makes Showboat’s closure even worse is Revel’s second bankruptcy. He said Showboat’s closing is devastating to the industry as well as the people that work in the casinos.
Caputo said that Caesars Entertainment is making a business decision and that is what companies do, but when a decision is made like that, it affects many lives. He said that part of the problem is that corporations like Caesars Entertainment do not look down the line. He said that the corporations were bigger than any government that existed and all of the casinos put together could have put more pressure on local government and state government to get more cooperation in changing the whole face of Atlantic City and making it safer. He said that a lot of action could have been taken in terms of raising the quality of life because when people visit Atlantic City, it is not only for gaming.
“When you move into a town that has been established, whether it is positive or negative, you do have some kind of obligation, I believe, to the people there,” said Caputo.
Caputo said that Atlantic City is over capacity, which he attributes to poor planning. He said that most of the casinos are very shortsighted and they didn’t look down the line, they didn’t see bingo parlors coming and they ignored New England.
When asked when the casinos should have seen the signals that changes were coming, Caputo said it was in the early 1990s.
“When all of these casinos opened, the business flowed in and then it became tough. Even in the early 1990s they were competing very viciously among each other,” said Caputo.
When asked what Atlantic City will look like a decade from now, Cauto said, “They will be down to four or five casinos if they are lucky.”