September 22, 2014 |
Atlantic City has become a place where hedge-fund managers go to lose their shirts. Three of the four Atlantic City casinos that closed this year (or four of five, if Taj Mahal closes in November) were controlled by hedge funds that suffered deep - but difficult to measure - losses. By contrast, operators with deep experience with casinos bought Resorts and the former Trump Marina (now Golden Nugget) in 2010 and 2011. Both casinos are showing signs of turning the corner - although the Atlantic City market overall remains far from settled.
September 18, 2014 |
Pennsylvania's 12 casinos won $66.4 million from poker, craps, and other table games players last month, 4.6 percent more than in the same period last year. But results were split on the basis of individual casinos. Half - led by Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem with a 20 percent increase - were up, and half were down. The same was true locally. Parx Casino and SugarHouse Casino recorded gains, while Harrah's Philadelphia and Valley Forge posted lower table games revenues. Aggregate table games revenue at the four Philadelphia-area casinos was up 1.7 percent, to $27.6 million from $27.3 million.
September 18, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - The epic swoon of Atlantic City continued Tuesday as the Trump Plaza was put out of its stained-carpet, squeaky-revolving-door, no-room-service, center-of-the-Boardwalk misery, as its dedicated hospice workers dealt a final hand of blackjack. "Sit down and play a hand, you won't get another chance," said Shelly Orloff, an IBM mainframe system programmer from Bergen County, around 3 a.m. Gambling operations were stopped at 5:59 a.m., the official end of the gaming day by state regulation.
September 17, 2014 |
SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia has gone to court in a bid to recoup more than $520,000 from 63 gamblers who have failed to repay markers - casino loans - issued in the last four years. The action offers a peek into the opaque world of casino credit, an unusual form of commerce in that the money that is lent usually goes right back to the lender in the form of gambling losses. That makes it a transaction fundamentally different than a retailer selling a sofa on credit. "There's an incentive for liberal lending because the odds are that the money is not leaving the building," said Paul Boni, a lawyer in Philadelphia and a board member of Stop Predatory Gambling, a national advocacy group.
September 16, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Vidilia Ormolea stayed true to her favorite casino here to the bitter end, squeezing in a final visit to Trump Plaza on Sunday - despite peeling wallpaper in the hotel rooms and other signs of a years-long decline. The friendly staff kept her coming back, said Ormolea, 67, who lives in Bethlehem, Pa., and said she has been a regular at Trump Plaza since it opened in 1984. It is scheduled to close Tuesday. "They took my money, yes, but I enjoyed myself here," said Ormolea, who was up $147.67 in free slot play shortly after noon.
September 15, 2014 |
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Walfa Caceres was the first of the sisters to make the journey to Atlantic City. It was 1992 and she was 26. New York City, where they had moved to join their father, Toribio Caceres, a former police officer at the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic who now owned a fried-chicken restaurant on 168th Street, had never really suited the Caceres siblings. "Too loud," said Fanny Caceres, five years younger than Walfa. "Too busy. " But in Atlantic City, something clicked for Walfa - particularly when she saw the line of customers stretching for the new French Quarter buffet at Showboat, willing to wait two hours to get inside.
September 12, 2014 |
Revel AC Inc. said in a bankruptcy court filing Wednesday that it had reached a deal to sell its $2.4 billion Atlantic City property to South Florida developer Glenn Straub for $90 million in cash. The deal was reached Friday, according to the filing. That was less than a week after Revel closed, putting nearly 3,000 people out of work. The offer is less than 4 percent of the casino's original price tag. "It's not going to be just a casino," Straub said. "There's four people that would make excellent casino operators, but that building is much, much more than just a casino.
September 11, 2014 |
The purge of Atlantic City's weakest casinos continued Tuesday, as Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. filed for bankruptcy in Delaware, a week before it plans to shut down Trump Plaza. The company also said it expects to pull the plug on Taj Mahal in November if it fails to get concessions from the casino's unionized workers. The Taj Mahal, which employs 2,963, would be the fifth Atlantic City casino to close this year. Despite the threat of closure, Bob McDevitt, president of Unite Here Local 54, said there was little the union could do to help bail out Trump Taj Mahal.
September 9, 2014
WITH Atlantic City casinos falling like dominoes, it would be understandable if the Pennsylvania Gaming Control board had cold feet about awarding the final casino license to open in Philadelphia. But if that's the case, they should say so. It's been four years since the state revoked Foxwoods' license, two years since the decision to have the second casino license remain in Philadelphia and more than a year since the board heard the final presentation from six potential licensees.