Atlantic City’s Dormant Casino Problem Is Becoming Dangerous

Written By Steve Ruddock on September 28, 2017

[toc]There’s a lot construction and redevelopment going on all over Atlantic City.

The construction projects happening in Atlantic City include:

But with everything going on, some of the city’s largest, and most well-known structures sit vacant. And in at least one case, is falling apart.

Three casinos are still vacant

The Atlantic Club was the first of five Atlantic City casinos to close its doors during a tumultuous four-year period that spanned 2013-2016.

The venerable casino shut its doors for good in January 2013. Father Time has not been kind to the property since then. In the ensuing four years, the property has fallen into a state of disrepair to the point that it now poses a public safety risk.

On Wednesday, the underside of the ceiling of the buildings’ porte cochere gave way and lay strewn across the driveway, as the following Tweet indicates:

Fortunately, the Atlantic Club sits at the far end of the Boardwalk, where there isn’t much foot traffic. There is just a slim chance someone gets hurt or worse. However, it still exists.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, the owners of the building, TJM Properties, cleaned up the debris. They will be making the necessary repairs by the end of the week.

Many 40-story eyesores on the Boardwalk

The Atlantic Club is off the beaten path. A pair of other closed casinos that have yet to reopen don’t have that luxury though.

Also in a state of hibernation are the more prominently located Trump Plaza Casino, and the $2.4 billion flop that is Revel Casino nee TEN. Both properties are ln the busy part of the Boardwalk. Both also remain empty since the casinos closed their doors in September 2014.

No matter how glitzy, vacant buildings don’t exactly instill people with confidence. While management is maintaining the Revel property, that is not the case for Trump Plaza. That property is the subject of demolition rumors throughout the year.

Trump Plaza is one of the first large structures visitors see upon arriving in Atlantic City proper. The building wasn’t exactly in good shape when it was open for business either. After three years of non-activity, the once-famous casino is something of an eyesore.

A waste of prime real estate

Aesthetics aside, the shuttered casino properties sit on some of the city’s best parcels of land.

The problem is, demolishing a casino is an expensive process. So is repurposing a building as old and dilapidated as Trump Plaza Casino.

In an already crowded casino market getting even more crowded when Hard Rock Atlantic City opens this summer, it’s unlikely anyone will see the Atlantic Club or Trump Plaza as a good investment opportunity.

Real estate is all about location, location, location. However, if a 40-story hotel casino in disrepair is on a great parcel land, location goes out the window.

In the end, the city and state might need to get involved to remove these eyesores so new development can take place.

Photo by John Arehart /

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Steve Ruddock

Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.

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