It's shaping up to be a terrible year for the casino industry in Atlantic City, in fact the worst in the past 22 years. The Division of Gaming Enforcement in the state released figures that for the first time since 1991 revenues in the 12 casinos combined were under $3 Billion, in fact for the 6 months of the year numbers were down 10.7% on the exact same period last year. Revenue was down to $240 million in June with every single casino reporting a monthly decline. The numbers were very poor for table games, down 16.3% and slots didn't fair much better at down 11.2%.
These numbers are extremely worrying and it will take a stellar July and August to put things right and pass the $3 Billion mark by the end of the year. The high of 2006 which saw revenue at $5.2 Billion will of course be not reached, and many observers have pointed to the fact that this was around the time that casinos started opening their doors in the state of Pennsylvania. Whilst no casino has done well, the worst performance was reported at the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, which was reported as struggling even before it's proposed sale fell through. Casinos are trying everything, most notably the Revel Casino, who banned smoking throughout the building, only to lift the ban in certain areas in the hope of a raise in revenue, but that was to no avail. Bally's Casino, the Showboat and Caesar's are all down along with the Trump Taj Mahal, Harrah's and the Borgata. The smallest decrease was seen at the Resorts Casino Hotel, down by just 0.5% for the month, they of course have recently teamed up with PokerStars to offer an online poker solution when ready, hopefully later this year.
The Atlantic Club who of course were previously linked to PokerStars were helped through the tough period by the $11 million payment that Stars paid up front and were judged to have lost to the Atlantic Club when the deal went through. For some, the boost that online poker in the state could bring, can't come around too soon and it would be more than welcomed for many of the land based establishments in the Garden State.