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It may be the ultimate competitive irony. Just as neighboring states and even Northern New Jersey expand their gaming options to compete with Atlantic City, the home of HBO's award-winning Boardwalk Empire is looking to diversify its economy past its casinos in an effort to revive its longflagging fortunes.

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority's Feb. 1 approval of a new master plan is the next step in a scheme to rejuvenate Atlantic City's tourism district. In a sense, this plan could be the city's last, best chance to reverse a decades-long decline, exacerbated by the recent recession.

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