Thursday September 15,2011 : Hurricane didn't help….
Hurricane Irene blew away an historic chunk of the Atlantic City casinos’ revenue in August, reports Associated Press. The nearly 20 percent decline was the biggest monthly plunge in the 33-year history of the United States' second-largest gambling centre.
The storm forced the city’s 11 casinos in the state of New Jersey to close for three days, causing an estimated $45 million in lost business during what should have been one of the busiest weekends of the year.
The $278.8 million the casinos took in was down 19.8 percent, according to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. The previous negative record was set in March 2009, which saw a 19.4 percent decline.
Governor Chris Christie was forced to order the casinos to close on August 26 as Irene bore down on New Jersey with dire predictions of widespread damage requiring evacuations. The casinos could not reopen until three days later.
Don Marrandino, eastern regional president of Caesars Entertainment Inc., which owns four of the city’s 11 casinos, told Associated Press that prior to the hurricane business had been good, with great attendance.
“Then it was just Mother Nature. We don’t seem to catch many breaks,” he said. “We were affected big-time on the Thursday before the storm, Friday most of the day, we lost all day Saturday and Sunday,” he said. “Monday we were 50 percent off and Tuesday we were still 25 percent off. The storm really clipped us.”
The casinos’ take from slot machines fell nearly 21 percent to $193.7 million, while table games revenue decreased by 17 percent, to $85.1 million.