tlantic City is now virtually surrounded by table games: Pennsylvania started offering them on Thursday, a few weeks after Delaware did. Analysts believe the stepped-up competition could cost Atlantic City about a quarter of its annual table game revenue, or us$ 300 million a year.
"From a gaming standpoint, it was a disappointing month," said Don Marrandino, eastern regional president of Harrah's Entertainment Inc., which runs four of the 11 casinos here. "But I suspect we'll be talking about growth in the next couple of months. I always think tomorrow is going to be better than today."
For the first half of the year, the casinos won us$ 1.77 billion, down 8.4 % from the same period last year. It was the Pennsylvania slots parlors that began Atlantic City's revenue plunge in late 2006.
Soon, Pennsylvania will have nine casinos offering the same gambling options as Atlantic City - but much closer to home for Pennsylvania players, who have been a big part of Atlantic City's clientele.
June table games revenue for Atlantic City fell 16.2 % to us$ 79.9 million. Slot revenue fell 9 % to us$ 206.9 million. Only one of the city's 11 casinos posted a revenue increase, and it was minuscule: Trump Marina Hotel Casino, one of the city's most struggling casinos, was up 1.3 %.
Resorts Atlantic City, which turned itself over to its lenders in December when it could no longer pay its mortgage, posted the biggest drop, nearly 20 percent. Caesars Atlantic City was down 17.8 %, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort was down 13.5 %, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino was down 13.2 %, and Harrah's Resort Atlantic City was down 13 %.
The Showboat Casino Hotel was down 12.4 %, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, usually the city's dominant casino, was down 11.7 %, and the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort, which hasn't paid its own mortgage in a year and is trying to work out a deal with its lenders, was down 7.7 %.
The Tropicana Casino and Resort, rebounding after its purchase by billionaire Carl Icahn, was down 5.9 %t. and Bally's Atlantic City was down 3.2 %. Marrandino, who spoke to reporters on a conference call following the release of the figures, said Atlantic City will become even more aggressive about promoting its non-gambling amenities, including restaurants, spas and top-name concerts.
"We put on the biggest fireworks display on the East Coast over the Fourth of July, and Lady Gaga was in town," he said. "You'll see us continue to differentiate ourselves from Pennsylvania. We've got to keep thinking bigger."