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The rise and fall of Atlantic City

It may be known for its boardwalk, beaches and the Miss America pageant but the thing that really makes Atlantic City famous is its casinos.

Casino gambling was legalized in New Jersey in 1976, making it the second state to do so after Nevada. Two years later, Resorts International opened its casino doors in Atlantic City. In the time that followed, Caesars, Bally's as well as nine other glitzy hotels opened up and helped make A.C. a destination for gamblers.

For years, Atlantic City was the only state in the Northeast that went head to head with Las Vegas. But then new casinos in nearby Connecticut and Pennsylvania took the appeal out of a trip to A.C.

The Trump Plaza ,which is scheduled to close, is viewed in Atlantic City on July 30, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
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The Trump Plaza ,which is scheduled to close, is viewed in Atlantic City on July 30, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

New Jersey gambling revenue hit its peak back in 2006 and has declined steadily for the past seven years due to competition from nearby states, New York and Pennsylvania.

Revel, Atlantic City's newest casino is set to shut down after failing to find a buyer in bankruptcy. The casino was opened in 2012 for more than $2 billion.

Read MoreAtlantic City's Revel Casino to close in September

Revel will join three other hotels closing in 2014. The Atlantic Club, which shut earlier this year, and the planned closings of Caesars Showboat and the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will hold a summit on Sept. 8 to discuss the future of the seaside town.

—By CNBC's Christina Medici Scolaro