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Wayne Parry, Associated Press
In this Dec. 22, 2011 photo, Tony Rodio, president of the Tropicana Casino and Resort, smiles as an employee calls out to him on the casino floor in Atlantic City N.J. Rodio feels 2012 will be the year Atlantic City stabilizes from its five-year revenue slump, and starts to turn around.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Atlantic City is anxious for the new year to arrive, and with it, the $2.4 billion Revel casino-hotel that should bring new gamblers and new money to the resort.

The city has been pummeled by a five-year losing streak brought on by unrelenting competition from casinos in neighboring states and worsened by the sluggish economy.

Also in 2012, Hard Rock International expects to break ground for its own new smaller "boutique" casino at the opposite end of the Boardwalk. It will also be the first full year that Gov. Chris Christie's Atlantic City rescue plan will be in place.

Pitfalls lurk as well. They include the ramping up of New York City's Aqueduct casino and the continuing financial fragility of the casino formerly known as the Atlantic City Hilton.