ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Less competition is starting to help the eight casinos that survived Atlantic City's Great Casino Contraction of 2014.
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Revenue in January at the city's remaining casinos was up nearly 19 percent compared to a year ago.
And even when the four casinos that shut down during 2014 are included, Atlantic City's casino revenue for January 2015 was still up by nearly 1 percent.
Matt Levinson, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, said the numbers could indicate the worst is over.
"Seven out of them were up, and six reported double-digit increases," he said. "Even when you include the now-closed casinos in last year's results, the total gaming win is still up. While it is always risky to say we've turned a corner or that there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, let me say that January's results are very encouraging."
The eight casinos took in $197.5 million last month, an increase of 18.8 percent over the $166.2 million they won in January 2014.
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When all 12 casinos that operated during January 2014 are included in the comparison, January 2015's revenue was still up by 0.9 percent.
The four casinos that closed last year were the Atlantic Club in January, the Showboat in August, and Revel and Trump Plaza in September.
Internet gambling took in $11.5 million in January, up from $10.7 million in December.
But Caesars Interactive-NJ posted a 9 percent decline, falling to $2.7 million in online winnings last month compared to $3 million a year ago. The figures show that the Borgata still leads the Internet gambling market in New Jersey with $3.7 million in online winnings last month, with Caesars Interactive, Tropicana and Golden Nugget all bunched closely behind, with revenue ranging from $2.4 million to $2.7 million.
The Golden Nugget posted the biggest monthly gain, up nearly 70 percent to $18.3 million from $10.8 million in January 2014.
Only the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, struggling to emerge from bankruptcy and be acquired by billionaire Carl Icahn, posted a decline in January, down 21.2 percent to $12.1 million.
Other big gainers included Resorts (up 31.8 percent); Caesars (29.8 percent); Tropicana (28.6); and Harrah's (20.1).
The casinos paid $15.1 million in state taxes in January.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC