• In this June 24, 2016 photo, gamblers play slot machines at the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City, N.J. On Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016, the state of New Jersey seized power in Atlantic City, taking control of the cash-strapped city's assets and major decision-making power. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

    In this June 24, 2016 photo, gamblers play slot machines at the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City, N.J. On Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016, the state of New Jersey seized power in Atlantic City, taking control of the cash-strapped city's assets and major ... decision-making power. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry) (The Associated Press)

  • In this June 24, 2016 photo, a craps game is underway at the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City, N.J. On Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016, the state of New Jersey seized power in Atlantic City, taking control of the cash-strapped city's assets and major decision-making power. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

    In this June 24, 2016 photo, a craps game is underway at the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City, N.J. On Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016, the state of New Jersey seized power in Atlantic City, taking control of the cash-strapped city's assets and major ... decision-making power. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry) (The Associated Press)

New Jersey takes over debt-ridden Atlantic City government

Markets Associated Press

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration has seized power in Atlantic City, taking control of the assets and major decision making power of the struggling seaside gambling resort with half a billion dollars in debt.

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The state Local Finance Board voted Wednesday to take over the city's main governmental functions after the state government rejected a proposed five-year financial turnaround plan.

The state can now sell assets including the former Bader Field airport property and the city's much-coveted water utility.

It also can reverse decisions of the City Council, break union contracts, and hire or fire workers.

The city's decline is due in large part to the decline of gambling. Atlantic City has seen five of its 12 casinos close since 2014.