Gaming revenue slips in Atlantic City

Posted: August 11, 2013

ATLANTIC CITY - The dozen casinos here posted gaming revenue of $297.2 million in July, a decrease of 3.6 percent from a year ago.

Revel, which emerged from bankruptcy in late May, had its best month since opening. The Boardwalk casino jumped four spots from 10th place in June to sixth last month at $23.4 million in total casino revenue. The figure represented a 33.4 percent increase from July 2012.

Said Revel interim CEO Jeffery Hartmann in a Friday conference call: "July results at Revel clearly show the impact of our 'Gamblers Wanted' campaign. We're servicing guests and now welcoming back guests ... and they're seeing what a tremendous property this is."

The casino's aggressive July slots promotion offered gamblers a refund of their slots losses greater than $100. But they had to return to the casino over 20 weeks starting in August to get 5 percent incremental refunds put back on their Revel player cards. Some complained they were misled by the offer, believing the refund would be all at once. Hartmann said only a few were confused.

"The vast majority understood the promotion," he said. "Obviously, we had an idea of how we were trending over the month. We picked up significant market share. We almost doubled market share in one month. We think it's sustainable and able to be maintained into August."

Since spring, Revel has had two rounds of layoffs as the casino tries to align costs with gaming revenue.

While Revel enjoyed a boost, the overall Atlantic City gaming market continued to struggle against new competition. Nine of the 12 casinos here - including the four owned by Caesars Entertainment Inc. - posted revenue declines in July, ranging from 1.6 percent at Golden Nugget to 26 percent at Tropicana.

The only other two properties to post revenue increases were Borgata and Resorts, with 18.9 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively. Borgata continued to outpace the market, generating $64.3 million in casino revenue last month, despite the competitive promotional environment.

"Our 10th anniversary campaign was really helpful in speaking to the public, and the promotional events related to the anniversary were clear and direct," said Joe Lupo, Borgata's senior vice president of operations. The casino had its 10th anniversary on July 2.

For the first seven months of 2013, the dozen casinos here generated $1.7 billion, a 9.6 decrease from the same period last year.


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

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