ATLANTIC CITY NUMBERS IMPROVE
12th July, 2011 at 04:29:06
Better, but still dismal.
Atlantic City gambling operators under pressure from a four-and-a-half year business drought caused by the recession and competition from neighbouring states were feeling a little more optimistic this week as official statistics for the month of June showed a little improvement.
Casino revenues fell just 3.7% in June, to $276.2 million, whilst June slot revenue was down 3.1 percent, to $200.5 million, and table games revenue decreased by 5.2 percent, to $75.7 million.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel," Tony Rodio, president of the Tropicana Casino and Resort, told Associated Press. "I think we've experienced most of the pain we're going to experience."
In fact, had it not been for a lucky table games player who beat the Tropicana for about $8 million last month, Atlantic City would have been within 2 percentage points of breaking even, Rodio said.
Nevertheless, for the first six months of the year, casinos won $1.7 billion, down 7% from the same period in 2010.
Robert Griffin, CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts and president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, kept things in perspective: "It's the 34th consecutive month of decline, but it is evidence that the Atlantic City market, while still struggling, is showing signs of recovery," he said.
In January 2011, Atlantic City's revenue was 13.2% lower than it was in January 2010.
Discounting a statistical quirk in February of this year, when a comparison with an extremely snowy February 2010 made things look better than they otherwise would have been, the early part of this year had been marked by significantly higher declines, AP notes.
March 2011 was down 6.7% from a year earlier, April was down 7.1% and May was down 9.1% from a year ago. That's what so encouraged casino executives on the June 2011 figures.
There's a long way to go yet, however; only four of the city's 11 casinos were in positive territory in June: the Trump Taj Mahal Casino and Resort, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Harrah's Resort Atlantic City and Resorts Casino Hotel.
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