Casino revenues in Atlantic City fell 7.6 percent in 2008 to $4.55 billion, according to figures released last week by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.
Slot machine revenue declined 9.6 percent to $3.13 billion for the year while revenue from table games decreased by 3 percent to $1.41 billion.
It was the second straight year of declining casino revenues. In 2007, revenues fell 5.7 percent to $4.9 billion.
"Last year was a very challenging one for Atlantic City’s casinos," said Casino Control Commission Chair Linda M. Kassekert. "While the economic problems that face this nation took their toll on casinos in 2008, the industry was also hurt by growing competition in neighboring states and a partial ban on smoking in casinos."
The competition that has hurt Atlantic City the most in the past year has been the slot casinos in neighboring Pennsylvania, which continues to report gains in slot revenue.
Kassekert pointed to the overall economy as the most significant factor behind the decline in casino revenues.
"We anticipate that when the economy starts to grow and consumer confidence increases, the outlook for the casino industry here will improve as well," she said.
The yearly report was released after December gaming revenues were posted: revenues declined by 18.7 percent to $302 million.