01/11/2012 : 4.2 percent increase over 2010…but last December was impacted by bad weather
Atlantic City operators will be taking some comfort from the latest official casino performance figures for the month of December, which show a 4.2 percent improvement over the corresponding period in 2010, although it should be noted that December of that year saw major snow storms that shut down the region for several days.
Nevertheless, the numbers represent the first time in three-and-a-half years that there has been a departure from a declining trend, and for that operators will be thankful.
Associated Press reports that the New Jersey city's 11 casinos took in $246.5 million in December. Slot machine revenue was up 8.3 percent, to $174.1 million, but table game revenue decreased by 4.3 percent, to $72.5 million.
For 2011 overall, AC casino revenues dipped 6.9 percent to $3.3 billion when compared with FY 2010, making last year the fifth in a row that Atlantic City casino revenue has declined The fall has again been attributed to competition from casinos in neighbouring states, and the continuing economic uncertainty in the United States.
"The positive win results are an encouraging sign of economic recovery for Atlantic City casinos," said David Rebuck, director of the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, whose office released the figures Tuesday afternoon.
"This has been the highest monthly percentage increase since December 2006," he added. "With the regulatory reforms in place and the upcoming opening of the Revel casino, we are hopeful that this positive trend will continue and reinvigorate the excitement that is part of Atlantic City and its casino venues."
AP reports that Atlantic City casino revenue hit a peak of $5.2 billion in 2006. In the same year neighbouring Pennsylvania opened the first of 10 casinos just across the Delaware River, soaking up customers and money from New Jersey’s one-time east coast casino monopoly. Then the recession hit in 2008, further damaging business.