Wynn Predicted Local Government Would Hurt Atlantic City?

Steve Wynn built the original Golden Nugget on the Atlantic City Boardwalk back in 1978. He sold it 10 short years later in 1987. Today, that sad structure is still sitting dormant after being operated as a Hilton and The Atlantic Club.

Why did Wynn bail on Atlantic City? The uber-successful casino titan said the reason for his exit was that local Atlantic City government at that time, was “corrupt, stupid, pathetic”. WATCH VIDEO >

Wynn wanted the New Jersey state government to take advantage of Atlantic City’s potential. They didn’t.

He urged governors of New Jersey to take control of the central planning of Atlantic City before their gaming monopoly on the east coast would come to an end.

Wynn: the local Atlantic City government is corrupt, stupid and pathetic.

Wynn doesn’t build casinos, he builds resort destinations. This is exactly what Atlantic City needs to do to become successful. It can’t just focus on gaming revenues.

Wynn: Atlantic City was never going to take advantage of its opportunity and would eventually face obsolescence, which I’m afraid is true today.”


  • Gaming is alive and well in Atlantic City, most of it OFF the Boardwalk in the ‘other Atlantic City’ known as The Marina District: Borgata, Harrahs and a new version of Golden Nugget run by Tilman Fertitta .
  • Atlantic City’s revenue had been declining since 2007.
  • Atlantic City Council has very limited jurisdiction / input / oversight on the growing tourism district.
  • Increasingly, there is now 2 versions of Atlantic City; one is small town and the other a glitzy Casino enclave. In most cases, they do not work well together. They are diametrically opposed to each other. Sadly, after 35+ years, there is no synergy between the two.