After one month of the season, the two teams are tied

Following business, even the casino industry is not like following a sport or a sporting team, although sports metaphors are a common as strikes in a no-hitter in business; they really are not applicable.  No, if following an industry can be compared in any way to following a sport or team it would be like following the Harlem Globetrotters.

The Globetrotters are a basketball team, a professional basketball team; but the games they play are not competitions, they are entertainment productions.  The Globetrotters play basketball games against other teams, but the games are not competitions.  The Globetrotters always win, in the process the players display their skills much the way circus performers display their skills – in the center ring, dazzling the audience; but not in the process of the defeating an opponent of equal skills and ability.  The Harlem Globetrotters play circus basketball.

That is the way it feels to follow casino gaming, the storyline is the skill of the players, the enormous number of points there are able to generate – but against no opponent.  The points – monthly gaming revenues – are never compared against an opponent playing on the same court, but against themselves the previous year.  In fact, comparing the current year against the previous year, month by month is consider the only valid comparison.  Our we playing better this year than last?  That is the question.

Although some jurisdictions do release the revenue numbers for each individual property and then the properties are ranked within the jurisdiction.  Nevada does not release individual property revenue numbers, so no comparison is possible, except to previous years or months – Atlantic City does release individual property revenue numbers.

Because of the individual numbers, Atlantic City observers can be more specific in their analysis; and indeed they understand the market better than one is able to understand jurisdictions that lump all of the casinos together.  Lately, that has meant comparing the newly opened, $2.4 billion Revel against the other Atlantic City casinos, it has been 8th for the first three months of its operation – a very poor performance by any standards. It can be said as competing against the other 11 casinos, but it is a city league; to really know how well good or bad Revel is, we would want to see them play the big boys on the Strip in Las Vegas – that is the big leagues of casino gambling; or even more so in 2012, to go aboard and play in Macau.  Then we could evaluate Revel’s ability.

Still, following gaming is not like following a sport – not like baseball, where my team from San Francesco plays against our hated rivals in Los Angeles and we compete for championship of the division.  Well, gaming was not like that, that is until this month; when independently two different media sources compared the home team against hated rivals in other cities.

The Erie Times-News tells us that the local team, Presque Isle Downs is fighting it out with the team from Cleveland, Ohio, the Horseshoe casino. After one month of playing, the two are tied. The other story comes from WEWS TV in Cleveland – the reporter there takes its home team, the same Horseshoe and compares it with what used to be some of the best teams in the nation – the Atlantic City casinos – and finds the local boys are good enough to be considered big leaguers.  This could get exciting, this is why we love sports, the thrill of the competition.  I can only hope other cities will get the bug and start giving the scores of their home team against those of rival cities.

 Atlantic City gambling revenue fell only fractionally in June…the 12 casino hotels posted $274.7 million in revenue…Revel had $14.9 million in gambling revenue in its third month of operation, good for only eighth place among all casinos. Donald Wittkowksi, Press of Atlantic City, 7-11-12

 Gamblers bet nearly identical amounts on slot machines at Erie and Cleveland casinos during June in the first head-to-head comparisons between the competitors. Gamblers wagered $159.6 million on 2,083 slot machines at the new Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, which opened May 14, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which regulates the state’s stand-alone casinos. In Erie, they bet $159.5 million on 2,066 machines, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported. The board regulates the state’s casino industry. John Guerriero, Erie Times-News, Erie Times-News, 7-11-12

 If the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland was plopped into the middle of the Atlantic City Boardwalk for the month of June, it’s numbers show that it would have been very competitive. The Horseshoe’s gross casino win of $26.1 million for the month falls in between the June totals released Tuesday of Trump Taj Mahal $25.6 million and Bally’s AC $26.7 million. Compared to all 12 casinos in Atlantic City the Horseshoe would have been fifth in gross revenue for the month with the Borgata leading the way with a win of $53.3 million, followed by Harrah’s $33.2 million, Caesars $31.9 million and Bally’s. John Kosich, WEWS-TV, 7-11-12



1 Response to “After one month of the season, the two teams are tied”

  1. 1 Bill Hanigan July 12, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I remember seeing the Harlem Globetrotters in the 50’s. Didn’t make me a basketball fan though I certainly remember their skills.

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