Once fabled Atlantic City hits free fall

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Image: ob Deutsch, USA TODAY

This summer, even Pinky is blue.

That’s Pinky Kravitz — the Voice of Atlantic City, Chairman of the Boardwalk, the New Jersey city’s biggest and oldest booster, a man who is relentlessly, famously, sometimes improbablypositive.

“Yes, I’m discouraged,” he admits. He turns 87 on Friday, still at the mic of his daily radio show, Pinky’s Corner, after more than 55 years on air. “Who wouldn’t be discouraged with so many people being thrown out of work? People are saying ‘What are we going to do? Where are we going to go?”’

The problem: Casino gambling, which when legalized four decades ago was supposed to help Atlantic City reclaim its pre-air conditioning, pre-jet travel, pre-Las Vegas glory, is besieged by out-of-state competition.

Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, now New York State — “We never thought we’d be surrounded,” he says.

But even in the years when buses rolled in from all over the East Coast, gaming wealth never spilled very far into the shabby neighborhoods in the casinos’ shadows. Gaming tax revenues only bolstered the bankrupt local politics.

More from USA Today

Posted by Libergirl

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