Casinos crumbling- Grim news for gamblers
by Carol Thompson
The economy and competition from Indian and state casinos are two of the reasons some say are responsible for the impending crumble of Atlantic City casinos.
The once-mecca of glitzy lights and gaming has lost four of its 12 casinos this year with at least one more predicted to close, resulting in a major impact on the city’s economic future.
The growth of gambling in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New York cut casino revenue in Atlantic City to $2.9 billion last year from a peak of $5.2 billion in 2006, according to a Sept. 8 report in Bloomberg. “The drop means less money for New Jersey, which collects an eight percent tax from casinos and dedicates the money — $205 million last year — to programs for senior citizens and the disabled,” the report noted.
Atlantic City’s famous boardwalk measures three miles in length. At the southern end, the Atlantic Club now sits vacant as does its 801-room hotel. Both closed Jan. 13.
At the northern end, the Showboat Casino Hotel, a staple in Atlantic City for 27 years, closed its doors Aug. 31. The Revel followed suit and Trump Plaza closed Tuesday. The Taj Mahal reportedly could close in November.
The closings have left a reported 8,000 people without jobs.
While Atlantic City can’t seem to recover from its casino loss, the once struggling Las Vegas appears to be on the rebound, according to a recent study released by Moody’s.
Las Vegas casino win revenue has increased 7.2 percent since 2007, while those of Atlantic City are still in decline, as the chart below shows.
One of the reasons Las Vegas is rebounding is that it doesn’t rely solely on gambling revenue for economic stability- health care and technology contribute to the economy.
Vegas is also at an advantage because it doesn’t have any major competition nearby whereas Atlantic City casinos struggle to compete with neighboring states, including New York’s state run casinos, which have been touted as having better odds at winning.