Atlantic City takes another hit

April 16, 2012 11:32 am

One of the few benefits that come from casinos are the tax revenues they generate. Now that is taking at hit in Atlantic City.

All of the casinos have appealed their property tax bills, arguing the properties are worth much less because of the increased competition for surrounding states. As a result, Atlantic City is poised to receive tens of millions of dollars less in tax revenue from the casinos, according to this report.

The Sands received $19 million in refunds. Caesar’s Entertainment, which owns Bally’s, Caesar’s, Showboat and Harrah’s, got back $27 million. Trump is appealing. Even the Revel, which just opened, has already appealed its tax bill.

Atlantic City depends heavily on the casinos to fund the government since they are the few big businesses in town. But the reduced tax bills underscores how lawmakers are wrong to depend on gambling as a way to fund government operations. The revenue is unreliable. Not to mention, more gambling leads to higher costs – including, crime, divorce and bankruptcy – that all taxpayers ultimately pay. In the end, a public policy built on gambling is a losing hand.

Casinos saddled with debt

March 1, 2012 11:14 am

The steady growth in casinos across the country is beginning to weigh on some operators who are struggling with increased debt loads.

USA Today reports that several major casino companies are wrestling with debt burdens taken on before the recession.  The increased competition will only exacerbate the financial pressure on the bottom line for many casinos.

Some of the casino companies cited included Ceasars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas and the Foxwoods casino in Connecticut. The paper also said casinos in the Atlantic City and Reno markets will also continue to face financial pressure from increased competition. One takeaway: the financial troubles facing many casinos is creating lucrative work for bankruptcy attorneys.

More broadly, the financial struggles of the casinos underscores how the growth in gambling in many states is unsustainable. States that rely on gambling revenue to fund operations will likely find a shrinking pot. The problem is there is only so much money states can take from gamblers. As more and more states legalize casinos and expand other gambling operations, look for the casinos to continue to cannabilize one another.