Tough times for Atlantic City continues

Business Week reports that Atlantic City land casinos continued to battle the recession in April 2009, with the 11 casinos drawing 14.2 percent less revenue than a year ago. However, like recent Vegas numbers, there was a glimmer of hope in the fact that the decline was not as great as that in March 2009, when the Atlantic City casinos took a record breaking 19.4 percent knock.

Mark Juliano, chief executive officer of Trump Entertainment Resorts opined: "It's up a little bit from the bottom; that's a good way to look at it. The economy is still a major factor."

In April, the casinos won $313.6 million, the Business Week report reveals. Slot revenue, Atlantic City's bread-and-butter, fell 14.9 percent to $220.6 million. Table games brought in $92.9 million, down 12.5 percent from a year ago.

Every casino in the city experienced a decline in April, led by three of the most beleaguered gambling houses. Trump Marina Hotel casino, which is due to be sold in less than three weeks to a New York developer, was down 27.9 percent. Resorts Atlantic City, which stopped making interest payments on its loans last fall and is trying to avert a foreclosure bid by its lender, was down 24.9 percent. Its sister property, the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort, was down 24.7 percent.

The Tropicana Casino and Resort, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this month so it can be sold at auction, was down 20.8 percent. Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino was down 20.2 percent, and Bally's Atlantic City was down 17.6 percent.

Caesars Atlantic City was down 16 percent, Harrah's Atlantic City was down 15.5 percent, and the Showboat Casino Hotel was down 7.2 percent.

The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort was down 2.2 percent, and the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was down 0.3 percent.

Juliano said: "The properties that have renovations completed over the last year or two are doing better than those who have not."

For the first four months of 2009, the casinos won $1.3 billion, down 15.7 percent from the same period in 2008.

Atlantic City is in the third straight year of revenue declines that began in late December 2006 when the first of several slots parlors in Pennsylvania and New York opened, stealing some of Atlantic City's most reliable and profitable customers.

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