Over the course of under three weeks, the casino resort town of Atlantic City, N.J. will see its city lose three iconic casinos and over 8,000 jobs, leaving a quarter of the town's casino workforce unemployed.

The Showboat casino will close Sunday, August 31, followed by Revel, which is set to close its doors over September 1 and 2nd. The last of the three to go will be Trump Plaza, which is scheduled for closure on September 16.

The Associated Press reports that these closings will result in the loss of 8,000 jobs for Atlantic City's casino workers:

"We never thought this would happen," said Chris Ireland, who has been a bartender at the Showboat since it opened. His wife works there, too, as a cocktail server. Before dinnertime Sunday, neither will have a job. "They just want to eliminate competition," Ireland said. "Everyone's in favor of a free market until it doesn't exactly work for them."

The mayor of Atlantic City, Don Guardian, has expressed his sympathy for the loss of jobs, but vows that the seaside city will be moving toward becoming a more multidimensional city not just focused on gambling.

Via the AP:

"This is going to be a difficult few weeks for many of us in Atlantic City," he said. "People will lose their jobs, and that is never good news. Our hearts go out to our neighbors and friends. We still have difficult waters to navigate."

The closing of the casinos (as well as the Atlantic Club in January) comes with speculation over what will happen to the iconic landmarks of the Atlantic City boardwalk. Converting the buildings into permanent housing, or school properties, are all ideas that have been discussed, but no set plans are in place.

[Image via AP]