Atlantic City Revenue Falls As Casinos Smoking Ban Shelved Until 2011

As summer drew to a close, there were optimistic signs that the Atlantic City casino industry was beginning to recover, but November’s revenue results revealed more worrying figures with no end in sight for the city’s woes.
“There’s no sugar coating it,” said Joe Weinert from the casino consulting firm Spectrum Gaming Group. “It’s another poor result for the Atlantic City casinos.”
In November, Atlantic City’s 11 casinos won $299.3 million which represented a massive 13.4% decline in revenue compared to the same period in 2008. Overall revenue throughout the first 11 months of 2009 was also down by 13.5% to $3.7 billion.
The casinos hit hardest were Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino down 25.8 percent, Caesars Atlantic City down 23.1 percent, Resorts Atlantic City down 21.4 percent and the Atlantic City Hilton down 20.7 percent.
Commenting on the latest figures, Gaming Analyst Brad Dawkins said: “The economic recession has severely damaged the casino gambling industry across the US. And anytime an industry goes down, it is its biggest suppliers that are hurt the most. For the casino industry, that means Las Vegas and Atlantic City.”
In related news, the continuing decline in Atlantic City revenues spelt bad news for casino employees hoping to see a full ban on smoking in their work place. At a recent Revenue and Finance Committee meeting, future discussions on the proposed ban have now been postponed two years until the end of 2011.
Following the announcement, Joseph Corbo, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey said: “Given the fact that the casino industry is now, a year later, experiencing the most challenging set of circumstances in its history, the Casino Association of New Jersey agrees with City Council that there could not be a worse time than now for it to consider a more restrictive smoking ordinance.”

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