By Terrence Dopp
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has created an emergency management team to turn around Atlantic City, the seaside gambling resort where four of 12 casinos closed last year after being battered by out-of-state competition.
Christie, a second-term Republican who may run for president in 2016, said he signed an executive order appointing Kevin Lavin as emergency manager and Kevyn Orr as special counsel. Lavin specializes in restructurings at FTI Consulting in New York, and Orr shepherded Detroit through its record $18 billion municipal bankruptcy.
The management team will have the biggest impact on improving the city's finances, Christie said Thursday in Atlantic City. It won't marginalize the mayor and city council, he said.
The 52-year-old governor has struggled to turn around Atlantic City, the onetime U.S. East Coast gambling capital. Casino revenue fell to $2.74 billion in 2014 from a high of $5.2 billion in 2006, state figures show, as Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New York expanded gambling.
Christie announced the managers as he held a third summit to address the future of the city. At the second summit in November, the governor said the state was considering an emergency manager.
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