English: Atlantic City (NJ) – The boardwalk in a rainy day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Talk about shuffling the deck.
In an unexpected outcome, voters replaced two-term incumbent and Gov. Christie foe Mayor Lorenzo Langford with an openly gay Republican who rides a bicycle to work and whose current job is with the state board that oversees the governor’s tourism district.
“Atlantic City is amazing at how it reinvents itself,” Mayor-elect Don Guardian said Wednesday in a bit of understatement to supporters and press at his Atlantic Avenue headquarters.
The 60-year-old Guardian, an Eagle Scout who came to Atlantic City from Bergen County to be an executive with the local Boy Scouts, has spent 20 years as head of the city’s Special Improvement District, a division of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which oversees the state Tourism District.
English: Picture of the Tropicana from the Boardwalk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – Atlantic City’s 12 casinos saw their collective earnings fall by nearly 45 percent in the second quarter of 2013, state regulators said Thursday.
According to figures released by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, the casinos made just over $65 million in profits during the second quarter, down from nearly $118 million in the same period last year.
Caesars Atlantic City had a quarterly profit of $24.2 million, up 17.4 percent from last year’s second-quarter profit of $20.6 million. Four of the 12 casinos posted operating losses in April, May and June.
Wilmington, Delaware, seen from an airplane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Condé Nast Traveler recently tallied the results of an annual Readers’ Choice Survey, which asked their audience to rate cities on a number of aspects. Two of the sections asked readers to name the “friendliest” and “unfriendliest” cities in the world.
The survey revealed that Wilmington, Delaware, coming in at number eight, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, coming in at number five, are considered some of the most inhospitable cities.
Over Memorial Day weekend, it was easy to see all is not well here. Eight of the 12 casinos predate the mid-1980s — carpets are grungy, paint is chipping off the walls, and far fewer employees are working the gaming floors.
As the sun broke through after a blustery Friday and Saturday, the Sunday crowds picked up on the Boardwalk. By midafternoon, it teemed with strollers and patrons at the outdoor restaurants.
But parking was available at several casino garages, a telltale sign it was not the hoped-for blockbuster weekend. Business volume varied among properties.
At the newer Borgata, for example, there was a waiting list in the poker room and a steady stream of traffic throughout the casino. At the barely year-old Revel, which just emerged from bankruptcy and opened new smoking lounges Friday, the sixth-floor casino parking level was filled with cars for the first time. At dowdy Trump Plaza, meanwhile, an older generation half-filled the intimate gaming floor, and people in their 20s and 30s packed its outdoor beach bar.
PHILADELPHIA — Gross revenue from Pennsylvania’s 11 casinos rose 4.4 percent last year to more than $3.1 billion, further cementing the state’s status as the second-largest U.S. gambling market as the Atlantic City market saw another decline.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported the state’s 11 casinos brought in nearly $3.16 billion in gross revenue from slot machines and table games last year, up from just over $3 billion in 2011. The figures were boosted by growth in table games, which generated $687.4 million in gross revenue last year, up about 11 percent from the year before. Earlier this month, the state reported revenues from slot machines in 2012 were $2.47 billion, up about 2.7 percent from 2011.
Tuesday’s official announcement that Connecticut-based Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, via its consulting arm, Mohegan Gaming Advisors, will assume management of Resorts Casino-Hotel seems to be a case of not seeing the forest for the trees.
It’s certainly big news that the financially beleaguered gaming hall — the oldest legal casino east of Nevada — has exponentially increased its chances for long-term survival via the newly forged partnership with Mohegan Sun (which is pending state regulatory approval), as well as through the recently consummated deal that will turn a sizable portion of Resorts real estate over to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville brand. But there is a much larger picture here.
For all the of the “experts’” braying about Atlantic City’s gambling industry suffering a terminal case of competitionitis, the fact is that AyCee has recently seen a large infusion of investments – upwards of $200 million, not including Revel’s $2.4 billion price tag.
If the town were indeed “dying,” why would such big-time outfits as Mohegan Sun, Margaritaville and Golden Nugget expend so many resources, financial and otherwise, on the seaside resort? We can assume the folks running these companies are not completely clueless and incompetent. Which leaves the possibility that the smart money sees a rosy future for Atlantic City as a big-time destination.
I am not surprised to learn that Atlantic City is taking a huge hit from all the recent casino development in surrounding states. Rising gas prices and a major recession are not helping things either.
Pennsylvania, under Fast Eddie, became a gambling state. Our casinos are spread out across the state, not all in one place. This seems to be a better strategy than New Jersey. 10 casinos are now operating in Pennsylvania. Atlantic City has 11.
I am sure Atlantic City depended on throngs of people from Pennsylvania coming there to gamble and spend money. Pennsylvania may very well pass Atlantic City as the number two gambling market in the U.S. in the years to come. Pennsylvania casino income is expected to grow to $2.7 billion dollars in 2011 while Atlantic City’s 2011 casino income is expected to fall to $3.09 billion dollars.
The last time I drove to Atlantic City, it was a ridiculously expensive trip. Bridge tolls, Atlantic City Expressway tolls, parking and gas made it a $50 trip before I set foot in a casino or shop. I went down for an afternoon to meet friends from high school who were staying at a casino. I will not be making that trip again.
Time will tell if Atlantic City can rebound or if Pennsylvania will unseat Atlantic City as the number two spot in the U.S. for gambling.