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The Reuters news agency reports that New Jersey governor Chris Christie is about to announce a state takeover of Atlantic City's casino district, removing local government functions such as police and refuse pickup.
News of the proposed take over of the beleaguered gambling mecca was leaked anonymously by a state government official.
The plan includes keeping revenue from a gaming tax within the city rather than paying it into state coffers; taking over the city's convention and visitors’ bureau, and seizing control of Boardwalk Hall, an entertainment venue.
Christie will also apparently announce plans to sell or close the battling Meadowlands Racetrack in northern New Jersey, to minimise the role of the authority that runs it, and to refinance a $2 billion entertainment and retail complex near the New Meadowlands stadium.
Reuters reports that the plans were drawn up by a commission created by Christie in response to plunging revenue in Atlantic City, which has been hit hard by competition from new casinos in neighbouring Pennsylvania, and the losses suffered by the horse racing industry at Meadowlands.