Can Atlantic City Casinos Break Their Slump? [AUDIO]
NEW JERSEY 101.5
Atlantic City casinos have been dealing poor revenue figures month-after-month for years, but an industry expert predicts a slight turnaround for the struggling gaming halls in the near future.
It was announced Tuesday that Atlantic City's 12 casinos saw a 3.6 percent increase in revenue last month, compared to October of last year. However, the increased intake is mainly due to the fact that Superstorm Sandy forced all casinos to shut down for the last few days of October 2012 and the first few days of November.
Even with a few extra days to work with this year, a third of Atlantic City casinos still managed to post a revenue decline last month.
The casinos took in more than $216 million from gamblers, compared to more than $240 million in September.
Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business magazine, said the drop in revenue from September to October isn't shocking; September is still considered a "summer month" to shore visitors, while October tends to see visitation start to decrease.
With online gambling set to begin later this month in New Jersey, and with no immediate plans for additional competing casinos in neighboring states, Gros said Atlantic City has the chance to come out of its slide.
"I think we're going to see the revenues flatten out, and I think we're very close to the bottom in Atlantic City," Gros said. "I don't know if we're ever going to see (revenues) increase substantially, but I think you'll see them up or down a couple of percent for the foreseeable future."
Atlantic City casinos posted a 13 percent drop in year-over-year revenue in September of this year. October's report was the fourth increase in the last five years.
To gauge the success or failure in Atlantic City, Gros said it's also important to consider revenues from the non-gaming amenities, which the city has been pushing hard recently. Non-gaming revenue has increased by double-digits over the past two years, and it could be New Jersey's ticket to attracting gamblers who have the choice of playing elsewhere.