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Revenue slide continues in Atlantic City

Oct 16, 2007 3:43 AM

Continuing a year-long trend, Atlantic City’s 11 casinos reported revenues were down 10.6 percent in September in the face of competition from new slots venues in Pennsylvania and New York.

It was the ninth consecutive month in which the casinos’ monthly take was lower than it had been in the same month the prior year.

The Atlantic City casinos’ total win, or the amount gamblers lost, was $419.3 million in September, compared with $468.8 million in September 2006.

To help stem the tide, the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority last week announced a $300,000 advertising campaign in central Pennsylvania to tout Atlantic City’s nightlife, restaurants and other non-gambling attractions.

Casino operators are also hopeful the planned MGM Mirage’s "CityCenter East" mega-project will help stimulate more tourism for Atlantic City.

In the meantime, nine of the city’s casinos reported revenue declines, ranging from 0.7 percent to 21.3 percent.

Only Caesars and Showboat, both owned by Harrah’s, managed to hold the line with 0.3 percent and 1.2 percent revenue increases, respectively.

The Borgata, while still the city’s revenue leader at $62.7 million, also was hit hard last month. It reported an 11.2 percent revenue decrease, its largest monthly decrease since it debuted in July 2003.

Meanwhile, competition continued to build in nearby Pennsylvania, where regulators said that the state’s sixth slots parlor — the $400 million Mount Airy Resort & Casino with its 2,500 slot machines — would open later this fall.

About 45 percent of Atlantic City customers come from New York and North Jersey, according to the visitors agency.

About 22 percent come from Pennsylvania. But fewer are coming from that state.