AC Casino Revenues Down Again

Atlantic City, New Jersey (AP) — The leaves are falling, and so are revenues at Atlantic City’s 11 casinos, which continue to see their profitable slots customers flee to Pennsylvania and New York.

The gambling halls took in USD 384.4 million in October, a 7.5 percent decline from the October 2006.

Slots revenues were USD 270.3 million, a decrease of 12.6 percent over a year ago. It matched the worst month of the year so far for slots here, along with September, which was also down 12.6 percent.

Revenue from table games was USD 114.1 million, an increase of 7.3 percent over a year ago.

Since the first slots parlor opened in the Philadelphia area last December, customers who once had no closer alternative than Atlantic City began deserting this resort for slot machines closer to home.

That trend has held throughout the year, and 2007 is certain to become the first year in the 29-year history of casino gambling here that revenues will decline from the previous year.

Statistics released Friday by the state Casino Control Commission showed that no one other than the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa had a good month. The Borgata took in USD 60.4 million in October, up 7.3 percent.

Only two other Atlantic City casinos had any increases at all: Harrah’s Atlantic City (up 1.7 percent at USD 40.3 million), and Resorts Atlantic City, (up 1.4 percent at USD 23.6 million).

Tony Rodio, general manager for the Resorts, said 63 new rooms there made the difference between an up month and a down one.

„It goes to show the power of rooms in this market and the difference they can make in the performance of a property,“ he said.

The biggest losers of the month were the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort, and The Tropicana Casino and Resort, each of which registered 15 percent declines in revenue.

Rodio, who is also the Hilton’s general manager, attributed the Hilton’s decline to a sustained run of bad luck at table games, where more money was paid out to gamblers.

Other declines were found at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort (down 9.5 percent), Bally’s Atlantic City (down 8.8 percent), Trump Marina Hotel Casino (down 8.4 percent), the Showboat Casino-Hotel (down 6.5 percent), Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (down 5.6 percent), and Caesars Atlantic City (down 3 percent).

October 2006 also was the last full month that the former Sands Casino Hotel operated. It closed in mid November 2006, so the impact on revenues of having one fewer casino in Atlantic City will soon stop being reflected in year-to-year figures.

The Sands was imploded last month to make way for a new USD 1.5 billion to USD 2 billion project by Pinnacle Entertainment, which is due to open in late 2011 or early 2012.

The casinos paid USD 30.8 million in taxes on their gross revenue in October.