Posted 3/21/11 : But they are spending more, says Spectrum survey
 
Visits to the beleaguered Atlantic City land casinos dropped 6.2 percent last year, adding to the ongoing battle for survival of the gambling centre, but the positive aspect was that spending per visitor increased slightly.
 
The new numbers come from a Spectrum Gaming Group study which found that 26.6 million people visited Atlantic City casinos last year, a decrease of 6.2 percent, but that spending per visitor fell by only half that amount, indicating that the people who have stopped coming to the nation's second-largest gambling market are the less-profitable customers.
 
Atlantic City is in the fifth-straight year of a revenue decline brought on by the explosion of casino gambling in neighbouring states and exacerbated made by the poor national economy.
 
The Spectrum findings are perhaps a vindication of the region's marketing attempts to attract a bigger spending clientele – the casinos' win-per-visitor was nearly $134 last year, down 3.6 percent from 2009 and nearly 8 percent from 2008.
 
Most visitors (22.9 million) travelled to the centre by private means – usually cars – whilst lower spending groups generally made their gambling pilgrimage by coach, with 3.8 million travelling by this method – a decline of 13 percent.
 
"Busing is on a long, slow goodbye," one casino official opined. "Buses once accounted for 15 million people a year here."