Casino Closings Wipe $2 Billion From Atlantic City Property-Tax Values

English: Picture of the Tropicana from the Boa...

English: Picture of the Tropicana from the Boardwalk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The closure of three Atlantic City casinos by mid-September will wipe $2 billion from the city’s property-tax values next year, exacerbating the already cash-strapped city’s financial plight, Mayor Don Guardian warned Tuesday.

By 2017, Guardian said on a conference call to discuss Atlantic City’s way forward as a tourism center following the rout of its casino industry, property values are expected to have fallen to as little as $7.5 billion from $20 billion five years ago.

In the short term, Guardian said the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has made money “available for some bridge loans to make sure that the city continues functioning with this year’s budget because of any concern that we might have that a casino’s closing, going bankrupt might hold off payments.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140827_Casino_closings_wipe__2B_from_Atlantic_City_property-tax_values.html#9bAf73M2kyMlu0jB.99

If 4 Atlantic City Casinos Close In September, Then What?

English: Atlantic City (NJ) - The boardwalk in...

English: Atlantic City (NJ) – The boardwalk in a rainy day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – This resort faces the prospect of having four major vacancies on its famed Boardwalk come mid-September.

The grim reality sank in July 14 when Trump Plaza issued layoff notices and targeted Sept. 16 as the date to cease operating as a casino.

Perception is reality in tourism, experts say, and the Boardwalk is synonymous with Atlantic City. How will four hulking, empty buildings sit with visitors – especially at night – and will they impede tourism when Atlantic City needs it the most?

“When an area goes dark, and there are increased vacancies, it generally sends out more than a subtle message that things are not promising on the horizon,” said Don Moliver, dean of the Leon Hess Business School at Monmouth University.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140722_Atlantic_City_lights_dimmer_in_September.html#LRbj1JvhlyPXrwkJ.99

Five Years After Opening, Crime From Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem Isn’t The Factor Some Feared

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bethlehem police Chief Mark DiLuzio remembers the critics.

Debates raged about whether Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem would be a benefit or detriment to the city and its surrounding communities. DiLuzio, then a police lieutenant, gave in to his detective spirit and researched the subject.

Much of what he found indicated casinos were not a hotbed of criminal activity.

Five years later, DiLuzio is now chief of police — and he’s happy to report that he was right.

Read more:  http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/05/crime_not_a_major_factor_five.html

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The Meadows Racetrack And Casino In Washington To Be Sold In $465M Deal

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Washington County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Washington County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The owners of The Meadows Racetrack and Casino accepted a $465 million offer on Wednesday to sell the Washington County gaming business off Interstate 79 at a time when revenue is falling as competition for gambling dollars is growing across the region.

Las Vegas-based Cannery Casino Resorts, which opened The Meadows in 2007 when few casinos operated locally, agreed to the cash and equity deal with Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc., a Berks County-based real estate investment trust that owns property associated with 22 casinos.

The deal is subject to approval from the state Gaming Control Board and Racing Commission and is expected to close next year.

Gaming and Leisure Properties, the nation’s first casino-focused real estate investment trust, formed last year to hold the real estate of Penn National Gaming Inc. and acquire more properties.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/6113453-74/gaming-casino-meadows#ixzz31nhHRKOS
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Poll: More In NJ Want Pot Than Online Gambling

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – A new poll finds more New Jersey residents want to smoke pot than gamble over the Internet.

A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll finds 41 percent of respondents would support smoking marijuana recreationally if it became legal. That compares with only 32 percent who support gambling over the Internet, which is legal in New Jersey now.

The poll finds support for online gambling has fallen, even as it enters its third full month and more than 150,000 online gambling accounts have been set up in the state.

“The public’s attitude was, for several years, warming up to online gambling,” said poll director Krista Jenkins. “But there has been a clear change in direction now that the practice has actually been legalized. Part of the public has always shown deep reluctance to make gambling so accessible in their own homes. Now that it is in fact legal, they may be more concerned than ever.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20140203_ap_ea57de2926384e6087d93750dc244999.html#uC9fqrd0erf0e8Y4.99

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Pa. Leads In Casino Tax Revenue

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From 2009 through 2012, Pennsylvania collected more money from casino gambling taxes than any other state.  The four-year total was $5.4 billion.

Because it keeps almost half the money casinos win from gamblers – more than all but a couple of states – Pennsylvania’s casino tax revenue even topped the combined totals of Nevada and New Jersey, long the two biggest gambling states, from 2009 through 2012.

But in the 12 months ended June 30, Pennsylvania’s total take of $1.41 billion was 2.8 percent less than the $1.44 billion the year before, as the spread of casinos in Maryland, Ohio, and New York turned the tables on Pennsylvania.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/homepage/20130825_Pa__leads_in_casino_tax_revenue.html#uKHaJOE3IE0lGZlb.99

Atlantic City Casino Earnings Fall Nearly 45 Percent

English: Picture of the Tropicana from the Boa...

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.

The biggest gain was posted by the Tropicana Casino and Resort, whose quarterly profits were up nearly 28 percent to $12.6 million.

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.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20130822_ap_6c1d4d224d384634a79f46ef48f30199.html#2VB8CKmuYW8ZlDD5.99

Atlantic City’s Aging Casinos, Storm Aftermath And A Glut Of Gambling Capacity Spell Trouble

English: Picture of the Tropicana from the Boa...

English: Picture of the Tropicana from the Boardwalk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTIC CITY — Can this casino resort be saved?

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.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/atlantic-citys-aging-casinos-storm-aftermath-and-a-glut-of-gambling-capacity-spell-trouble-689842/#ixzz2UsvznxAo

Pennsylvania Casinos Rank High In Tax Revenue

English: Pennsylvania county map

English: Pennsylvania county map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When it comes to gambling meccas, you might want to start counting Pennsylvania among them.

Pennsylvania casinos generated more tax revenue last year than those in any other state and more gross revenue than any state but Nevada, according to a national American Gaming Association report released Monday.

The “State of the States: The AGA Survey of Casino Entertainment” found that the commonwealth’s 11 casinos produced nearly $1.5 billion in tax revenue in 2012, up 2.1 percent from the previous year.  Nevada placed second at $868.6 million and New York third at $822.7 million.

Pennsylvania also was first in 2011.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/pennsylvania-casino-revenues-rank-high-686612/#ixzz2SdTUCkyl

Pennsylvania No. 2 In Casino Revenue, Behind Only Las Vegas

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130117/NEWS03/130119460/pennsylvania-no-2-in-casino-revenue-behind-only-las-vegas

Massachusetts Looks To The Lehigh Valley For Inspiration

It’s a river city with quaint Victorian architecture once known for its pioneering manufacturing processes that gave America the industrial might to fight its wars.

But now, it’s re-imagining itself as a “knowledge corridor,” thanks to nearby colleges, and possibly as an entertainment center as gaming companies circle for a place to put a new casino.

That might sound a lot like Bethlehem.

But it’s Springfield, the biggest city in western Massachusetts.

As leaders there begin to dive into the details of reinventing the greater Springfield area, they are looking at Bethlehem as it enters its fourth year hosting a casino and the rest of the Lehigh Valley for advice and inspiration.

Read more:

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/bethlehem/mc-bethlehem-springfield-gaming-20121129,0,5144006.story

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem Table Games Boom Benefits Easton

English: Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette ...

English: Skyline of Easton, PA from Lafayette College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Great to see this money benefit the taxpayers of Pennsylvania!

The city was left out of the local share of taxes on the casino’s thousands of slot machines, but came away with a 25 percent cut of local table gaming taxes. The games — poker, blackjack and more than a dozen other options — remain a fraction of the tens of millions poured into Sands’ slot machines, but the casino’s tables are the most popular in the state and show no sign of slowing down.

The city budgeted $560,000 in table games money this year, a slight uptick from 2011’s $530,000 haul, yet Easton could see more than $700,000 if the boom in south Bethlehem continues. Through the first two quarters this year, Sands shunted $336,000 into Easton’s coffers and the table games at Sands remain the state’s highest grossing.

“We are definitely getting more than we expected,” Easton Finance Director Chris Heagele said.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/easton/mc-easton-sees-windfall-table-games-revenue-20120824,0,5728945.story

Mohegan Sun The Latest To Bet On “Dying” Atlantic City

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.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/homepage/165482725.html#ixzz23AN6mms6
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Sands Bethlehem Leads The Way As Pa. Slot Machine Revenue Up In May

English: Slot machines at Wookey Hole Caves

English: Slot machines at Wookey Hole Caves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PHILADELPHIA. PA  (AP) — Pennsylvania’s gross slot machine revenue was up 3.4 percent in May over the year before, boosted by the second full month of play at Valley Forge Casino Resort in suburban Philadelphia. Existing casinos, meanwhile, saw a modest rise after they registered just the third such monthly decline in April.

The state’s 11 casinos — including Valley Forge, which opened March 31 — collected $212.5 million in gross slots revenue in May, an increase over $205.5 million from the same period the year before, according to revenue figures released Monday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The 10 existing casinos that were open in both May 2011 and May 2012 saw an increase of 1.5 percent, a month after their gross slots revenue had dipped .6 percent.

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem showed the most growth in May, pulling in $25.1 million in gross slots revenue, an increase of 11.2 percent over May 2011. The state’s second-newest facility, Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, wasn’t far behind: It reported $16.4 million in gross revenue, an increase of just less than 10 percent.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-pennsylvania-casino-revenue-060412-20120604,0,4866675.story

Pennsylvania Cements Status As Nation’s No. 2 Gambling Market

Slot machines at Wookey Hole Caves

Slot machines at Wookey Hole Caves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  PottsVegas never happened but evidently other communities have embraced casinos!  King of Prussia wasn’t too good for a casino!

PHILADELPHIA – Pennsylvania’s 11 casinos pulled in more than $233.1 million in gross slot machine revenue last month, setting an all-time monthly high since the state’s first casino opened in November 2006 and cementing the state’s status as the nation’s second-largest gambling market.

The slots totals released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board include revenue from two test nights and one day of operations at the state’s 11th casino, Valley Forge Casino Resort, which opened Saturday. Overall, the figures broke the previous monthly record of $218.3 million set in July, and they represent an 8.5 percent increase over March 2011.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=377820

Casino Nears Completion At Valley Forge Convention Center

English: Slot machines at Wookey Hole Caves

Image via Wikipedia

Construction crews are putting the finishing touches on Pennsylvania’s 11th slot-machine casino, set to open next month at a convention center just outside Valley Forge National Historical Park.

The sounds of drills, power lifts and hammers filled the air at the still-under-construction casino Tuesday, when the casino’s operators gave tours of the new facility. That cacophony, however, will soon give way to the cha-ching of coins and the whirr of slot machines when the casino fully opens for business on March 31 with 600 slots and 50 table games.

The scheduled opening comes as competition for gamblers is growing in the suburban Philadelphia market, which already has the Parx Casino in Bensalem, SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia and Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack in Chester. By law, Pennsylvania could one day be home to 14 casinos.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-valley-forge-casino-20120228,0,6627210.story

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem To Build Events Center

The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem‘s newest addition is to open next May as a destination aiming to attract large-scale conventions, boxing matches, comedians and concerts with “Mariah Carey-level” acts that usual bypass the Lehigh Valley on tour at the big stadiums…

Read the rest of this article from the Morning Call here: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-bethlehem-sands-casino-live-nation-20110906,0,1033622.story

Sands Casino Plans Hotel And Mall In Bethlehem

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Image via Wikipedia

The very successful Sands Casino in Bethlehem is adding more attractions to lure gamblers.  A new 300-room hotel is opening by Memorial Day which will allow gamblers to make the Sands an overnight destination.  In addition, the casino is opening a 35-store mall on the property which will give gamblers (and non-gamblers) a shopping and dining diversion.  The mall has a proposed soft opening date of November 1st.  Grand opening is scheduled for President’s Day weekend, in February of 2012.

Another project in the works is a conference facility that could accommodate 2,500 people.  This would allow the casino to compete in the lucrative convention and trade show market.  The conference facility could become a reality by the end of the year.  There are eight other buildings on the site which the casino hopes to develop and a residential area is also being considered.

Adjacent to the casino is the Steel Stacks complex and ArtsQuest Center.  The ten-acre entertainment area includes a concert pavilion, farmers market, antique market for starters. 

The economic impact of these projects will benefit Bethlehem for generations to come.

Slots Approved For Valley Forge Convention Center

SlotMachine

Image via Wikipedia

Potts Vegas never materialized but it appears slot machines will be making their way into the Valley Forge Convention Center after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court approved their casino license.

Six-hundred slot machines and fifty gaming tables are planned for the convention center.  Upper Merion Township supervisors have already approved this plan.  No date for the completion of the project was announced but officials are looking to get this up and running ASAP.  

The addition of gambling will give the Valley Forge Convention Center another means to attract customers and make the convention center more of a destination.

Limerick Township turned down a casino but Upper Merion Township is certainly embracing it.

Atlantic City Casinos In Slump From Increased Competition

Atlantic Ocean shore at Atlantic City, New Jersey

Image via Wikipedia

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.