April revenue drops 12.1% at A.C. casinos

Gamblers place bets at a Borgata roulette table. Revenue at Atlantic City casinos remained in a double-digit drop at the Shore's 12 gambling halls.
Gamblers place bets at a Borgata roulette table. Revenue at Atlantic City casinos remained in a double-digit drop at the Shore's 12 gambling halls. (ED HILLE / Staff Photographer)
Posted: May 11, 2013

ATLANTIC CITY - The dozen casinos here experienced a 12.1 percent drop in casino revenue in April, compared to a year earlier - continuing a pattern of double digit declines.

The resort's gaming revenue was down 13.2 percent in January; 12.5 percent in February; and 12.8 percent in March.

Total casino revenue was $228.5 million last month, compared to $259.9 million in April 2012.

Ten of the 12 gambling halls reported year-over-year declines, but Revel - which had its first anniversary on April 2 - reported the largest drop at 40.1 percent.

Revel generated $8.1 million from slot machines and table games last month, ranking it second to last. Only Trump Plaza generated less, at $6 million, last month. Market leader Borgata (which Revel competes against for a similar clientele) made $49 million, down 1.5 percent from a year ago.

"Although our April gaming revenues were disappointing, we are launching new initiatives that will drive future growth and reintroducing Revel to the gaming public over the next couple of months," Revel's interim chief executive Jeffrey Hartmann said in a statement Friday.

Revel, built at a cost of $2.4 billion, is expected to emerge from bankruptcy next week.

Andrew Zarnett, gaming analyst at Deutsche Bank AG, said last month's results were negatively impacted by having one less Sunday, and other factors.

Only Atlantic Club (up 36.6 percent) and Caesars (up 5.9 percent), had increases.

Trump Plaza had the second-largest decline at 32.3 percent, while three of the four Caesars Entertainment Inc. casinos were down: Bally's (29.5 percent), Harrah's Resort (19.2 percent), and Showboat (16.9 percent).

"For Atlantic City, our view of continued declines into 2013 remains intact as consumers in this market (and everywhere else as well) will be negatively impacted by higher taxes (payroll, health care, and in some cases Bush tax cuts), and commodity costs and the reduction to discretionary income," Zarnett wrote in a Friday analysis.

Shauntae Jones, 34, of West Philadelphia, sought relief from all of that as she shopped at Atlantic City Outlets, The Walk, the outdoor downtown mall here. She said she still enjoys getting away to A.C., and stayed at Harrah's Resort in the Marina District on Wednesday and Thursday earlier this week.

"I live by Harrah's in Chester," said Jones, as she carried several bags of clothes. "But this is where I get my free rooms."


Contact Suzette Parmley at 215-854-2855, sparmley@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @SuzParmley.

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