By WAYNE PARRY
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Atlantic City’s casinos are betting they can finally put the COVID pandemic behind them in 2023. Some casino executives are optimistic about the new year, while others note that economic challenges are likely to remain in the New Jersey resort town. Issues that could be decided in 2023 include whether to ban smoking in the casinos, and what to do with the former Bader Field airport property. Casinos plan to pump millions into new hotel rooms, restaurants and entertainment projects, and a $100 million water park is due to open in May.