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Atlantic City Casinos Struggle After Sandy [AUDIO]

Atlantic City’s casinos are struggling to deal with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy by laying off workers, cutting back the hours of others, and making still others take unpaid leaves.

Mario Tama, Getty Images

The city’s 12 casinos had to close due to the storm for between five to seven days in late October and early November. Even after they reopened, business has slowed considerably.

The Atlantic Club turned to layoffs to help deal with the downturn. The two Trump casinos are making salaried workers take a week of unpaid time off, and barring hourly workers from using vacation days for time they were off during the storm.

“What needs to heal is the feeder markets that enjoy Atlantic City, those markets in north Jersey that New York that come down here” said Israel Posner, executive director of the Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton College.

He said the storm was a huge hit to the entire shore economy.

“Think about the vendors and suppliers to the industry that also feel the brunt of this natural disaster, it really affected many different markets that all contribute to the decline in revenue for Atlantic City.”

Moody’s Investors Service predicts Atlantic City casino revenue could be down 25 percent for the next six months and earnings down 40 to 50 percent over that same period due to the storm. By contrast, casino companies outside New Jersey should see less than a 2 percent impact to their business through the first quarter of 2013, the firm said.

“The good news is that Atlantic City didn’t suffer much structural damage from the storm and that means they did open a lot sooner than other places. I don’t think this storm will put an end to people coming down the gaming destination to visit, gamble, go to restaurants, walk the boardwalk, that is all still here and once New Jersey as a whole comes back, Atlantic City will come back” said Posner.

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