Hard Rock International is investing $375 million to develop the old Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City. (image: Bloomberg Images)
The Trump Taj Mahal is slated to become Atlantic City’s fifth casino closing since early 2014.

The closing of the Trump Taj Mahal will add to thousands of hospitality industry jobs Atlantic City has already lost since 2014, according to the latest South Jersey Economic Review released by Stockton University.

The biannual report from Stockton's William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy noted that since the first quarter of 2014 employment in Atlantic City's casino and hotel sector has dropped by around 5,400 jobs or 20% of the city's total metropolitan area. Four of Atlantic City's 12 casinos closed in 2014 including the Atlantic Club, Revel, Showboat and Trump Plaza.

Tropicana Entertainment plans to close the Trump Taj Mahal, which employs about 1,800 people, in October.

"Atlantic City's economy continues to struggle under the weight of the ongoing restructuring taking place in its gaming industry and the related spillover effects on the local economy, including Atlantic City's fiscal health," said Stockton associate economics professor Oliver Cooke in a statement. "While most current gaming operators have benefited (in market share terms) from the industry's recent consolidation, the report finds that the restructuring process remains incomplete."

The new Stockton analysis was released just over three months before New Jersey voters decide if they will approve a referendum expanding casino gaming beyond Atlantic City into northern New Jersey. Voter approval would lead to two or three additional Atlantic City casino closings, the report noted.

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