October gambling revenue at Atlantic City casinos declined 8.8 percent from a year ago, when four more casinos were open.
The city’s eight remaining properties won $197.7 million at the casinos, and their companies won an additional $9.5 million from online gambling. The combined revenue of $207.2 million was still 4.4 percent shy of last year’s total win at a dozen casinos of $216.9 million, the state Division of Gaming Enforcement reported Wednesday.
Alex Bumazhny, a gambling industry analyst at Fitch Ratings, said that decline in casino-based gambling revenue was expected following the closings.
He noted that revenue increased at all but one of the eight surviving casino hotels.
The one exception was Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, whose win was down 17 percent from October of last year. On Wednesday, The Associated Press reported that the Taj Mahal will close Dec. 12 if its main union doesn’t drop an appeal of a court-ordered savings package.
Bumazhny said the potential closing of the Taj Mahal would greatly impact the industry’s overall gambling revenue.
“Their revenue is about 8 percent of the total market, so that would obviously impact quite a bit,” Bumazhny said. “Then again, we also have the prospect of Revel opening back up under new ownership, which would make up for it.”
Brookfield US Holdings won a bankruptcy auction for Revel and has an agreement to pay $110 million for the Boardwalk property.
Bumazhny said the combined onsite win of the remaining casinos increased by $24 million compared to last year, which is about 55 percent of the revenue in October of last year at the closed casinos. That is in line with what his firm expected.
Tropicana Casino and Resort had the biggest gain for October with a casino win up 57 percent, raising its total with online revenue to $23.6 million, up 71 percent from the month a year ago.
Golden Nugget Atlantic City’s combined casino and online gambling revenue was up 67 percent to $16 million compared to last year, while Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa saw a 16 percent increase.
Harrah’s Resort posted an increase of 17 percent and Resorts Casino Hotel gained 15 percent, both solely on higher revenue within the casinos.
Caesars Atlantic City was up 13 percent counting online revenue as well.
Bally’s Atlantic City had the smallest revenue gain over last year’s win, 1.4 percent higher for $17.5 million from its casino.
“Seven of the eight casinos reported increases in October, a sign that gaming revenues are starting to stabilize while non-gaming revenues are growing,” said Matt Levinson, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “We have come through difficult days, but the city clearly is transforming into a new full-scale resort.”
Levinson cited new restaurants operated by “celebrity chefs,” retail stores, a new meeting center at Harrah’s and Richard Stockton College’s plans to purchase and transform the former Showboat Casino Hotel into a branch campus and hotel as reasons for the city’s reinvention.
Staff Writer Reuben Kramer contributed to this report.
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