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Atlantic City posts (rare) gains in May

Jun 11, 2008 7:57 PM

Staff & Wire Reports | For only the second month this year, Atlantic City casinos raked in more revenue this year than the same month last year.

Gaming revenue inched up 1.6 percent to $415.3 million in May, thanks to the two extra weekend days and a sunny Memorial Day weekend that drew big crowds to Atlantic City for the unofficial start of the summer tourism season.

"That’s meaningful. It’s huge," Larry Mullin, president and chief operating officer of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, said of the favorable calendar. "It’s encouraging to see that we’re finally reversing the downward trend and getting some good news here."

There were five Fridays and five Saturdays this May compared with four last year. Weekend days and holidays are usually the time when casinos make the most money.

"The extra Saturday always helps," said Mark Juliano, chief executive officer of Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., operator of Donald Trump’s three casinos. "Friday, you get a little bump. Saturday, you get a big bump."

Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort was the biggest gainer in May among the city’s 11 casinos, scoring an 11.4 percent increase in revenue. Borgata, as usual, was the overall revenue leader, pulling in $64.2 million from its slot machines and table games, a 4.9 percent increase over last year.

Mullin and Juliano noted that casinos also benefited from a strong Memorial Day weekend. Rock guitar legend Eric Clapton performed at a sold-out concert at Borgata during the holiday weekend to drum up even more business.

For a complete report on Atlantic City’s revenue gains, see next week’s GamingToday beginning Tuesday.