Atlantic City mayor: Shift from gambling to other attractions will be painful but do-able

Atlantic City's mayor says his city is in the midst of a painful transition from a gambling-centric resort to one where betting is only one of many things to do.

Mayor Don Guardian says he believes top elected officials still strongly support his city, and will give it the full five-year turnaround time that Gov. Chris Christie promised before considering expanding gambling to the northern New Jersey Meadowlands and elsewhere.

But within the last week, State President Steve Sweeney's suggested a referendum in 2015 on expanding casino gambling beyond Atlantic City, and Christie said he'd talk about it.

Guardian and city tourism and marketing officials say Atlantic City's non-gambling revenues are increasing, even as casino revenue continues to plunge.

As many as three casinos may close this year.