n March, the decline was 19.4 %, the biggest monthly drop in the 31-year history of legalized gambling in the nation's second-largest casino market. "It's up a little bit from the bottom; that's a good way to look at it," said Mark Juliano, CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts. "The economy is still a major factor."
In April, the casinos won us$ 313.6 million. Slot revenue, Atlantic City's bread-and-butter, fell 14.9 % to us$ 220.6 million. Table games brought in us$ 92.9 million, down 12.5 % from a year ago.
Every casino in the city experienced a decline in April, led by three of the most struggling gambling houses. Trump Marina Hotel casino, which is due to be sold in less than three weeks to a New York developer, was down 27.9 %.
Resorts Atlantic City, which stopped making interest payment on its loans last fall and is trying to avert a foreclosure bid by its lender, was down 24.9 %. Its sister property, the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort, was down 24.7 %.
The Tropicana Casino and Resort, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this month so it can be sold at auction, was down 20.8 percent. Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino was down 20.2 % and Bally's Atlantic City was down 17.6 %.
Caesars Atlantic City was down 16 percent, Harrah's Atlantic City was down 15.5 %, and the Showboat Casino Hotel was down 7.2 %. The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort was down 2.2 %, and the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was down 0.3 %. It's no accident that those two casinos fared the best last month, Juliano said.
"The properties that have renovations completed over the last year or two are doing better than those who have not," he said. The Borgata opened The Water Club, a stand-alone luxury hotel, last year, and the Taj Mahal opened its long-awaited second hotel tower last fall.
For the first four months of 2009, the casinos won us$ 1.3 billion, down 15.7 % from the same period in 2008. Atlantic City is in the third straight year of revenue declines that began in late December 2006 when the first of several slots parlors in Pennsylvania and New York opened, stealing some of Atlantic City's most reliable and profitable customers.