Atlantic City casinos about to go bust, but baby don't need shoes at the Shore

Are the Atlantic City boardwalk casinos about to topple like a stack of dominoes? The three Trump properties -- the Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, and Trump Marina -- are in trouble, on their way to bankruptcy or worse. And Resorts, the original boardwalk casino, is facing foreclosure.

Resorts Atlantic City's current problem is dire, although it has been in bankruptcy before -- it was also previously owned by Donald Trump's group and also Merv Griffin. It is now in a court battle to hold onto its casino license as a group called Column Financial, which is its main lender, attempts to take it over in a foreclosure action.

What has happened since Resorts opened as the first casino outside of Las Vegas in 1978? The casino ushered in an era of gambling expansion that has still not stopped. It set the tone for the building of the strip that was to come, and for the last 31 years has stood in the middle of all the glitz and glamor.

You can blame a lot of things for the downfall of this quiet giant, not just the sour economy. Resorts, and the rest of the casinos in Atlantic City, are throw-backs to an era when the notion of a "strip" seemed to work: All you had to do was stack up a bunch of casinos next to each other and try to create a destination out of it.