A slight improvement in Atlantic City

New Jersey gambling mecca’s three-year losing streak may finally be coming to an end.

Things may at last be looking up in Atlantic City, a key American gambling centre, reports Associated Press.

April 2010 casino revenues were down less than 1 percent, raising hopes that the prolonged decline in revenues experienced by Atlantic City casinos may finally be leveling off. The decline is the smallest in the last 20 months, AP reported.

The city's 11 casinos won $311.5 million in April, a decrease of 0.7 percent over the same month a year ago. Four casinos posted revenue increases in April, and three others had declines of less than 5 percent.

Atlantic City casinos have come under pressure from a faltering economy and competition from neighbouring states (see previous InfoPowa reports).

"It's really good to see that in April the market seemed to be stabilizing," said Mark Giannantonio, president of the Tropicana Casino and Resort. "That's been the case over the last several months. But the months to come are going to be the real challenge as a result of table games in Delaware and Pennsylvania."

Revenue at table games was $95.6 million, an increase of nearly 3 percent. Slot machines brought in $215.8 million, a decrease of 2.2 percent.

Casino analyst Cory Morowitz told Associated Press that the growth in table games is particularly good news for Atlantic City.

"It's an indication that the economy is coming out of its doldrums, and that's a good thing for Atlantic City, regardless of what's happening on our borders," he said. "It means Atlantic City seems to be nearing a level of equilbrium, but they still have a lot of work to do."

For the first four months of this year, casinos won $1.17 billion, down 7.6 percent from the same period in 2009. But that number was skewed by a 15.7 percent hit in February due to three major snowstorms.

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