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Atlantic City Tale of Wins and Loss

23 May 2003

ATLANTIC CITY - At a Gamblers Anonymous meeting in Egg Harbor Township, a new member talks about losing her home to the casinos.

"Up at her place in Lacey Township, Dalia Russell is talking about how a $1 million casino jackpot let her buy a new home.

"But in the vast space between those two financial extremes, the 25-year run of legal Atlantic City casinos has spawned millions of more typical gambling stories. They belong to people who have won some and lost some.

"And although they honestly know that they have lost more than they won, these gamblers say they have enjoyed the ride, enjoyed the entertainment they get in the casinos and enjoyed their days on the Boardwalk and their nights of somewhere to go.

"`I come with a certain amount and that's it,' says Martin Kirrane of the Bronx, N.Y., who was sitting on a Boardwalk bench one May afternoon outside Resorts Atlantic City, the casino that started the city's modern era in 1978.

"…`They got rid of a lot of the slums,' Kirrane says. `It's beautiful now. Really beautiful.'…"

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