|Following last week’s news that revenues for casinos in Nevada had fallen by as much as three percent for February, their brethren in Atlantic City have announced an even larger drop for last month.|
After a modest 1.5 percent increase for February, revenues from the resort's eleven casinos fell 9.9 percent to $395 million last month, according to figures released by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.
February's results broke an unprecedented ten straight months of decline and had raised hopes that the city's downturn might be at an end. However, March's figures reflect the same problems that have haunted the seaside resort for over a year, extra competition from Pennsylvania's new slot parlours, the weakening economy and the lingering effects of the city's partial casino smoking ban. In addition, the traditionally slow Easter weekend fell in March to add to the casino industry’s financial woes.
'Certainly, Easter being in March hurt us a little bit,” Mark Giannantonio, President for the Tropicana Casino and Resort, told the Press of Atlantic City newspaper.
“It affects that Saturday and Sunday for that weekend.'
The Commission stated that the casinos won $277.3 million at slot machines, a drop of 11.2 percent, with another $117.7 million coming from table games, a reduction of 6.6 percent. The report showed that venues paid $31.6 million in tax on their gross revenues for March, eight percent of which is earmarked for the Casino Revenue Fund that pays for programmes benefiting qualifying senior citizens and people with disabilities.
In addition, the casinos incurred another $4.9 million in reinvestment obligations, as they are required to reinvest 1.25 percent of gross revenues in projects approved by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
For the first three months of the year, casinos won $1.1 billion, which was down 6.4 percent from the same period last year. Revenues from slot machines for the period dropped 8.5 percent while those from table games were also down 1.3 percent.