A new poll finds nearly two-thirds of New Jersey residents say Atlantic City's best days are behind it.

With shrinking casino profits, closings, and layoffs, a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll finds only 22 percent of those surveyed in the state say the resort’s best days are yet to come. The poll also finds 63 percent of New Jerseyans say gambling has benefited only the casino-hotels.

In a press release, David Redlawsk, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling said, “The early days of gambling prompted some optimism that the industry would make Atlantic City a major resort destination. But New Jerseyans were always somewhat cynical about the prospects, as our early polling shows. That most now think the city’s best days are in the past reflects the recognition of serious problems there.”

As for casino competition from other states, nearly half who gamble on most trips to Atlantic City report visiting a casino outside of New Jersey in the past year. For less frequent gamblers, 33 percent say they have gone out of state to gamble. Most of Atlantic City's gamblers still prefer to gamble here, but 28 percent are now more likely to gamble out of the area.

The results are from a statewide poll of 842 residents contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from September 29th to October 5th. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points.