Tourism is the third leading industry in New Jersey, thus being a significant aspect of the New Jersey economy. One of the areas that play a significant role in this booming business is Atlantic City, one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world. Possessing a large variety of leisure, unique and captivating casinos and the longest boardwalk in the world, Atlantic City pulls in tourists of all kind all over the world and is well considered to be the east version of Chicago, St. Louis, and Las Vegas concerning gambling. Adding that with its fair closeness to New York City, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, Atlantic City was an easily accessible place for many to visit.
However, because of various other casinos growing and the failure of Atlantic City to expand their gambling, it is on the brink of losing out to its nearby competitors such as in Pennsylvania. Through this, various tourism businesses have taken advantage of and succeeded enormously. In total, the tourism industry has brought in a record 43.4 billion dollars in revenue in 2015, which is a stark contrast to the $9 billion back in 2005. Simply put, New Jersey's reliance upon this industry is far greater than most states and cannot afford even the slightest dip in production from these two key areas.
Atlantic City's issues have started well before its current turmoil that occurs today. In 2013 alone, the casinos in Atlantic City were only to produce a total of 235 million dollars, which was 35% worse than the earnings made from last year. Taking into consideration that the grand gambling location attempted to vamp production by introducing online gambling and 2012 had Hurricane Sandy ravage the entire east coast of New Jersey, the significant decrease of earnings calls for even greater concern. The following year in 2014, Revel, the new casino that was supposed to be the savior to Atlantic City's troubles, was ultimately put into bankruptcy and for sale. In 2015, three other large casinos were filed for bankruptcy while 2016 saw the largest casino located in Atlantic City in Borgata fail to pay its monthly property tax bill which resulted in massive deficits in tax money which is used for Atlantic City schools and social services throughout the state.
The actual living conditions in Atlantic City are even worse than the casino's business. Although one would believe the various companies would open up hundreds of jobs, the failure of these businesses to make money lead to an alarming 14% unemployment rate which contributes to more than 30% of the people living there live under the poverty as well. Many of these glaring statistics still remain in effect in 2018.
Because of these problems, various detrimental effects are negatively inflicting New Jersey. Losing businesses and jobs by the hundreds, the New Jersey economy is suffering a principal source of tax money that they received through tourism. The number of unemployed people would also significantly increase and call for a more significant increase in the number of social services for these people who have had their job displaced. However, because a large portion of social services come directly from the gambling tax in Atlantic City and other areas, these programs slowly lose the ability to help everyone that needs it.
So, a larger unemployment group along with smaller social services to provide will lead to the further demise of the Garden State. Also, the difficulty of replacing tourism with another industry to cover up what tourism had done would be astronomical. New Jersey lacks the funds and the current businesses to bring in more money and beat out the other states that specialize in other industries.
A potential solution is to focus on alternative sources of entertainment for Atlantic City and the other tourist locations. While gambling is the primary reason tourists wanted to travel to Atlantic City, there are various other reasons to come into this tourist hotspot. Specifically, focusing on maintaining the high-quality beaches and the animals that live in these areas that New Jersey possesses should be the top priority. These beaches are aesthetically pleasing to view and keeping these both ecological and economic treasures intact would be essential. Other areas to utilize to attract more tourists would be the various historical locations from the Revolutionary War. Another solution to solve this issue would be to restore what Atlantic City was in a different position. Starting over in North Jersey and bringing incentive to new tourism businesses to come in through potentially lower taxes and other ways would not take too long and could have a lot of potential to solve the issue.