Atlantic City's February gambling revenue down 12.5%

Posted: March 12, 2013

The dozen Atlantic City casinos reported $212.3 million in total gaming revenue last month, down 12.5 percent from February 2012.

The latest month was a day shorter than the previous Leap-year February, accounting for some of the decline, while any lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy on the Shore resort were less clear-cut, according to figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. The storm hit hard in North Jersey and New York - key markets that Atlantic City relies on for nearly half of its customer base.

The financially troubled Revel, which announced Feb. 19 that it would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy later this month, ranked 10th among the 12 gaming halls, at $9 million. The $2.4 billion megacasino just edged out the much smaller Resorts at $8.7 million, and Trump Plaza at $5.2 million.

Nine of the dozen Atlantic City casinos reported revenue declines in February, including market-leading Borgata, which generated $46.6 million, down 7.5 percent from a year earlier.

The largest revenue declines were reported at Trump Plaza (-41.8 percent); Bally's (-30.2 percent); and Showboat (-27.4 percent). The owner of Trump Plaza announced last month that the casino has been sold to Meruelo Gaming Holdings L.L.C. for $20 million.

Two casinos reported revenue increases - The Atlantic Club, up 22.7 percent, at $10.2 million; and Tropicana, up 12.5 percent, at $16.3 million.

But it's been Revel's financial performance that has the attention of state gaming regulators. The casino - which debuted April 2 - has been generating monthly revenue numbers far below expectations. Revel is expected to file for bankruptcy within the next two weeks - a restructuring intended to wipe out about $1 billion of debt in a debt-for-equity swap with Revel creditors, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Revel's chief executive Kevin DeSanctis, said the casino's February revenue from 2,450 slots and 160 table games was up 13 percent over January's (in which Revel brought in just over $8 million in gaming revenue), and that group and leisure business was up.

"Our numbers are starting to head in the right direction," DeSanctis said in a statement Monday. "More than 44 groups held meetings at Revel in February, and we exceeded our leisure bookings forecast.

"In the short term, our focus is on enhancements to entertainment programming in The Social and an outstanding lineup in Ovation Hall in March and April," he said. "As we move into summer, significant additions will open including a high-end slot lounge, a Noodle Bar and HQ Beach Club."


Contact Suzette Parmley at 215-854-2855 or sparmley@phillynews.com.

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