Jan 10 Revenues for Atlantic City casinos in
2012 fell 8 percent from the previous year to $3.05 billion, the
New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported on Thursday.
For the month of December, revenues fell 8.9 percent from
the previous month, to $223.5 million. That monthly decline was
less steep than November's sharp fall of 27.9 percent, when
damage from Superstorm Sandy closed oceanfront casinos and
brought travel and spending throughout the region to a halt.
Atlantic City had been suffering prior to the storm because
of competition from gaming venues in neighboring states, said
David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at
the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
"The city is still facing a lot of obstacles," he said.
"Sandy had a negative impact, but it really only exacerbated the
ongoing decline. It didn't cause it."
On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed
putting three new casinos in struggling upstate New York cities
as part of that state's ongoing plan to expand gaming, which
still needs final legislative approval.
Casino revenues are a source of education funding in some
areas, as well as property tax relief.
In Atlantic City, the casino industry paid $15.7 million in
taxes on gross revenues. The money pays for social programs for
seniors and disabled people.