Tourism grows but A.C. gaming revenues decline

Apr 15, 2008 7:00 PM

Industry Insider by Ray Poirier | It is not all bad news for the casinos in Atlantic City. True, the gambling revenues have fallen off but tourist visits to the state continue to increase.

That is according to the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism.

For 2007, the division recently reported, tourism increased to 75.2 million people or 6% over the previous year while tourism spending rose to $38 billion, up from $36.6 billion the previous year.

Gov. Jon Corzine said he was pleased with the results because "a strong tourism industry is vital to economic growth in New Jersey." However, he said he has proposed a cut of $1.8 million in tourism promotion because "we’re trying to cut spending with no new taxes."

Meanwhile, gaming companies worry about the downturn in their businesses, caused they believe by the competition that has developed from slots activities in Pennsylvania and from a smoking restrictions imposed by the city.

Except for the month of February, New Jersey gaming revenues have been on the decline for months, reaching a major level in March. Revenues came in at $395 million, or 9.9% less than in March, 2007. It also was noted that all 11 Atlantic City casinos were down from the previous year.