While Atlantic City licks its proverbial wounds following the closing of several casinos this year, nearby resort towns are more than anxious. After all, many families who try their luck in AC also stroll the boardwalk in Wildwood, enjoy the quaintness of Cape May and soak up the sun on beaches up and down the Jersey shoreline.
Four counties in New Jersey account for more than half of the state’s entire tourism take. Of the $40 billion collected annually thanks to visitors to the Jersey Shore, Atlantic County brings in the most – 18 percent of total annual tourism revenue. Cape May follows next at 15 percent and Ocean County (12 percent) and Monmouth (six percent) round out the list.
With Atlantic City bracing for a rough couple of years, shop owners in nearby towns are worried about their own bottom lines. Hotel owners fear more vacancies and restaurants and other touristy attractions wonder whether the local clientele can sustain them.
Which bring us to another major issue; local merchants aren’t worried only about a drop in tourism dollars. More than 8,000 people, formerly employed at the recently closed casinos, live and shop in the local area. If these people are out of work, they may be forced to move out of South Jersey in search of new jobs. In addition, this expected economic downturn may lead to an increase in criminal activity in the area.
What’s worse, gambling revenue and the taxes collected on it amounted to significant income for the county and state budgets. Now, the counties, especially Atlantic County and Cape May County, may face shortfalls that will impact services. Layoffs of public workers may be in the cards.
Economic crisis, unfortunately, fuels crime. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Atlantic City or Cape May, contact John W. Tumelty. Mr. Tumelty is an experienced NJ criminal defense lawyer who will take the time to discuss your situation and advise you about the best way to handle the criminal charges you are facing.