Casino closings could force Atlantic City to cut 300 municipal jobs

 Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian says a job training effort will help casino employees find other work. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian says a job training effort will help casino employees find other work. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

With the closing of three casinos in Atlantic City, thousands of workers will be losing their jobs before September is over.

The loss of tax revenue from those three facilities — Revel, Trump Plaza and the Showboat — will take a toll on city operations as well, Mayor Don Guardian said Tuesday.

Some municipal departments and service may be reduced, and up to 300 jobs could be cut from the city’s workforce, he said.

City officials have been talking about shared services with the county and state, and Guardian said all options are on the table to reduce the costs of Atlantic City government.

“Ultimately we need to find how we’re going to trim $40 million over the next four years from our budget and what we can do before we start talking about layoffs,” Guardian said. “Clearly, we’ll be shedding some departments and we’ll be shedding some services.”

Guardian expects about 10 percent of the displaced casino employees will retire, while up to 30 percent of the workers will relocate to casinos in other states.

“You have eight casinos that are going to remain. Eventually, they’re going to become a little bit stronger and as their room nights go up and as their hotel restaurant revenue goes up, they’re going to be hiring again,” he said. “Not the total number that we lost, but certainly 10 or 20 percent.”

And Guardian anticipates a new convention center and retail shops now under construction will create about 1,300 jobs.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.