Atlantic City continues revenue slide

Sep 18, 2007 4:00 AM

The dog days of August took a bite out of Atlantic City casinos’ bottom line this year, dropping revenue by nearly 6 percent from a year ago.

The latest numbers continued a downward trend this year in Atlantic City that has seen the amount of money casinos won from gamblers increase in just one of eight months so far.

The decline is due to a variety of factors, including newly opened slot parlors in Pennsylvania and Delaware, and a partial smoking ban in Atlantic City’s 11 casinos.

The news was not all bad, however. Harrah’s Atlantic City had its highest month of gross revenue ever, and Caesars Atlantic City had its second-best month, second only to July 2007.

The casinos won $465.2 million in August, down 5.9 percent from August 2006. They took in $323.5 million from slot machines, an 11 percent decline, and $141.7 million at the tables, an increase of 8.2%.

Trump Marina Hotel Casino posted the biggest monthly decline at 13.9 percent, followed by the Tropicana (down 13 percent), Resorts Atlantic City (down 12.2 percent) and the Showboat Casino-Hotel (down 11.2 percent.)

Even the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, the perennial revenue leader among Atlantic City’s casinos, had a down month in August with revenue declining by 4 percent.

On the plus side, Caesars saw revenue increase by 10.8 percent, and Harrah’s saw a 7.1 percent increase. Both are owned by the same company, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc.

The Trump Taj Mahal was the only one of three Atlantic City casinos that bear Donald Trump’s name to see an increase this month at 2.4 percent.

For the year to date, Atlantic City’s casinos have taken in $3.5 billion, down 4 percent from the same period last year.

This will likely be the first year in the 29-year history of casino gambling in Atlantic City that revenues do not increase.