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Hurricane Irene Slams Atlantic City Gambling Revenue

Hurricane Irene Slams Atlantic City Gambling Revenue

Hurricane Irene didn't do much physical damage to Atlantic City casinos (the second largest gambling market for US casinos behind Las Vegas) but the revenue lost due to closures over one of the busiest gambling weekends had a huge financial impact.

Gambling revenues for August for Atlantic City casinos were down nearly 20%, marking the largest monthly decline in Atlantic City's history. Irene forced all 11 casinos to close for the typically very busy weekend.

Revenues were down across the board, with slot machines off 21% and revenue from table games such as blackjack and baccarat dropping 17%. The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and Trump Plaza Hotel Casino were impacted the most, with revenues down 36% for the Taj Mahal and off 35% for the Plaza Hotel.

Atlantic City casinos have been on a slow, steady decline since 2006 as far as overall revenues dropping as neighboring casinos in Pennsylvania and other states siphoned away their business. Pennsylvania is poised to overtake Atlantic City as the US's second largest gambling destination, with its newer casinos proving more attractive to many gamblers.

New Jersey's governor Chris Christie has created a new state agency designed to reinvigorate the state's gambling industry, and New Jersey was one of the first US states to take a hard look at offering intra-state online poker and casino sites for residents to play at.

Christie vetoed the first online gambling bill the state legislature passed but a very similar bill has been reintroduced, which would include provisions to use some of the profits to help prop up the state's brick and mortar casinos and horse racing tracks.

12-Sep-2011, 03:48

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