Atlantic City losing streak: six years and counting

January 11, 2013 9:11 am

Like many of the gamblers who leave Atlantic City with empty pockets, the casinos here are on a serious losing streak.

Total casino revenue was down 8 percent in 2012 in Atlantic City. It was the sixth year in row of revenue declines. Where have all of the gamblers gone? The casinos are struggling from increased competition mainly from Pennsylvania, which legalized casinos in 2004. Delaware, Maryland and Ohio have opened casinos in recent years. Massachusetts legalized casinos but has yet to open any. 

Overall, revenues are down 41 percent from the high 2006. The casinos raked in $3.05 billion last year compared with $5.2 billion in 2006. the addition of the new Revel casino has done little to reverse the fortunes in Atlantic City. In fact, the Revel has struggled to attract gamblers since opening last spring and is teetering on bankruptcy. Hurricane Sandy also hurt the casino, which were forced to close for several days during the storm.

The financial problems in Atlantic City may get worse if New York Gov. Andrew cuomo gets his way and legalizes casinos. About half of the Atlantic City gamblers come from the New York area. At the same time, some lawmakers in North Jersey are pushing to bring a casino to the Meadowlands.

That will leave the Atlantic City casinos like many of its gambling customers: chasing its losses.

Update: The casinos in Nevada are also struggling as the sluggish economy continues to impact gamblers.

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