Summer on the Boardwalk; July 2013 in Atlantic City

From the opening bell on May 26, 1978, the casinos in Atlantic City were successful.  In its first year, Resorts generated $134 million in gaming revenue and by 1981 there were 9 casinos in the boardwalk city generating over a billion dollars a year in annual gaming revenue; in 2006 AC gaming revenues reached $5.2 billion; however, 2006 was the peak and the last year of the growth.  Since then gaming revenues have fallen every month in year over year comparisons, except one.  The change is easy to explain, 2006 was the year Pennsylvania opened its first casino.  The Pennsylvania casinos ushered in a new era for the gaming industry in the northeast and Atlantic City.  For the last 7 years Atlantic City casinos have reported ever-declining revenues.   To put the declines in perspective, here are the revenue figures from July 2005 and July 2013; startling, isn’t it?

 Overall, the 12 Atlantic City casinos won $504.8 million from gamblers, a 6.5 percent increase over July 2004.  Donald Wittkowski, Press of Atlantic City, 8-11-05

 Atlantic City July gaming revenues fell 3.9% to $297.2 million. Associated Press, 8-9-13

Still, the news for July of 2013 was not all bad; the revenues were only down 4 percent and three properties did show increases.  Borgata, always the market leader, grew its revenues by 19 percent to $64 million.  The new kid on the block, Revel saw its revenues jump 33 percent over July of 2012 to $23.4 million in 2013 with its “you can’t lose” program. In the process, Revel moved up into 6th place on the revenue list.  Revel only had a third of the revenue that Borgata did, but it is a big improvement from Revel’s usual $11 million in revenue and a 9th or 10th place on the list.  The $2.4 billion Revel Atlantic City continues to be the big story as it has been since it opened a year ago; the media, investment community and the gaming industry in general are watching to see if the new management, strategies and marketing campaign can turn Revel around.  July offers the first ray of hope that property has shown.  Now, the challenge is to turn increased revenues into profits, not easy task in an overcrowded and very competitive marketplace like the northeast.

Atlantic City’s casinos got off to a cool start as summer heated up this year, with their revenue falling by 3.6 percent in July. The casinos won $297.2 million from gamblers in July, down from $308.2 million last July. They won $215.5 million from slot machines, and an additional $81.7 million from table games last month. The biggest increase was posted by Revel Casino Hotel, which began a “you can’t lose” slots refund promotion in July…Revel’s monthly revenue went up more than 33 percent, to nearly $23.4 million…The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was up nearly 19 percent to $64 million. Resorts Casino Hotel continued to benefit from its new Margaritaville bar, restaurant and gambling complex as it saw a 6.2 percent increase to nearly $14 million.  Nine casinos saw their revenue decline in July, led by the Tropicana Casino and Resort, which fell 26 percent to $20.6 million. Wayne Parry, Associated Press, 8-9-13

  1. Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was up nearly 19 percent to $64 million.
  2. Caesars Atlantic City fell 4.6 percent to $35.2 million.
  3. Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City fell 10.7 percent to $34.8 million.
  4. Taj Mahal Casino Resort fell 10.6 percent to $26.5 million.
  5. Bally’s Atlantic City fell 14 percent to $24.2 million.
  6. Revel’s revenue went up 33 percent, to $23.4 million.
  7. Tropicana Casino and Resort fell 26 percent to $20.6 million.
  8. Showboat Casino Hotel was down 19 percent to $18.6 million.
  9. Atlantic Club Casino Hotel was down 3 percent to nearly $14.2 million.
  10. Golden Nugget Resorts saw a 6.2 percent increase to $14 million.
  11. Atlantic City was down 1.6 percent to nearly $13 million.
  12. Trump Plaza Hotel Casino was down nearly 25 percent to $8.1 million.

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