Gaming Study Highlights Uphill Struggle For Atlantic City Casinos

Statistical results from a recent Spectrum Gaming Group study has further confirmed the bad news for Atlantic City’s casinos, with time spent gambling and the amounts wagered by customers sharply down across the board.
Atlantic City’s 11 casinos have now experienced over 2 years of consecutive decline in their monthly revenue figures since its gaming industry hit a peak in late 2007.
For the purpose of the study the Spectrum Gaming Group choose a dramatic time frame which ran from 2006 until the third quarter of 2010, which has witnessed a major recession, as well as increased competition from neighbouring states, such as Pennsylvania.
During that period Atlantic City’s casino revenue has continued to decrease steadily from $5.2 billion in 2006, $3.9 billion in 2009 to its current $3.1 billion for the first 10 months of 2010.
Over that four year period gross gaming revenue has declined from $9.13 per hour in 2006 to $6.42 in the third quarter of 2010, while gross operating profit per visitor hour was also down a huge 61% from $2.74 in 2006 to its present $1.05.
The only exceptions to the rule are Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza Hotel Casino, Caesars Atlantic City and Bally’s Atlantic City which saw their gross gaming revenue per visitor hour increase by over 11% during the time period.
The Spectrum Gaming Group report widely reflects the reality of what Atlantic City casino customers have been witnessing for themselves, with regular visitor 69-year-old retiree George Cosgrove commenting:
“It’s easy to see for yourself — go in there, and there’s hardly anybody in there [Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort]. There’s probably half of what there was on a weekday a year ago. The business is just not there.”
“We are definitely watching our money more closely. We’d love to keep doing things the way we used to, but we just can’t.”
Despite the figures striking a pessimistic note, Caesars Entertainment Corp’s Don Marrandino said he believed the report highlights the fact that the profile of Atlantic City’s visitors have now dramatically changed from day-tripping gamblers to vacationers and convention attendees. Striking an optimistic note, Marrandino stated:
“We have to continue to expand the amenities we offer and do a better job in the convention business. Some of the drop in spending is due to the recession, and we should get some of that back. But to make up for the lost revenue from gambling, we have to make more money from our nightclubs, food and beverage and convention business.”

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