SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Condado Plaza Hilton in Puerto Rico is closing its longtime casino in another blow to the U.S. territory's struggling economy.
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Managing director Raul Bustamente told The Associated Press Wednesday that 144 workers have been laid off. He said the closure comes after a 40 percent drop in the use of slot machines in the past decade.
Bustamante said the former 24-hour casino that opened in 1975 will likely be turned into a ballroom.
Puerto Rico's Hotel & Tourism Association said it is the seventh casino to close in the past five years in Puerto Rico. Government officials have said the previous closures led to a $6 million drop in revenue.
Critics in part blame the closures on an estimated 45,000 illegal gambling machines that operate across the island.