Atlantic City casinos' revenue up 2.3 percent; down 12.6 percent counting closed ones

Industries Associated Press

Atlantic City's eight casinos all saw their revenue increase by 2.3 percent in March, compared to a year ago.

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But when the four casinos that shut down last year are included in the comparison, the city's gambling revenue was down 12.6 percent.

Figures released Tuesday by the state's Gaming Enforcement Division show the eight surviving casinos took in $203.8 million in March, compared to the $199.2 million they won in March 2014.

Matt Levinson, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, said a significant portion of the increase for the surviving casinos came from Internet gambling revenue, which was up 17.6 percent. For the first quarter of the year, total gambling revenue increased 5.9 percent, with a 19 percent increase in Internet gambling revenue.

"Gaming revenue at the eight operating casinos has increased for seven of the last eight months, and last week those casinos reported a 12 percent increase in gross operating profits for all of last year," Levinson said. "With new attractions coming to Atlantic City, like Bass Pro Shop, Harrah's meeting center and the new sound and light show at Tropicana, I anticipate this trend will continue into the summer months."

The increased revenue, however slight, is seen as a silver lining in the cloud that was 2014 in Atlantic City, where The Atlantic Club, Showboat, Revel and Trump Plaza all went out of business. When these casinos are included in the calculations for the partial-year revenue they brought in, Atlantic City's casino revenue was down 12.6 percent in March compared with the $233.3 million the casinos won in March 2014, when 11 gambling halls were still operating.

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The Golden Nugget continued on a tear, as its March revenue was up by more than 41 percent. It continues to gain market share at least partly from customers who once patronized the now-closed casinos.

Revenue at Resorts and the Tropicana was basically flat for the month.

Harrah's posted an 11.4 percent increase, to $32.3 million; the Borgata was up 7.7 percent to $60.2 million; Bally's was down 11.1 percent to $15.8 million, and Caesars was down 4.1 percent to $23.2 million.

Caesars Interactive, the Internet gambling arm of the casino giant, saw its online revenue fall by 24.3 percent, and the Trump Taj Mahal was down nearly 23 percent to $14.7 million.

Atlantic City's Internet gambling revenue was up by nearly 11 percent in March, to $13.1 million.

Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC