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Atlantic City Casinos See No Second Quarter Revenue Relief

Atlantic City casinos have had as rough a stretch as any gaming establishments in the country since the economic recession of 2008. By now, analysts had predicted the city would start to see a recovery, but the second quarter revenue figures indicate a recovery is still a long way off.

In the second quarter of 2011, revenue was down nearly eight percent from the same period in 2008. Overall operating profits totaled $149 million in the second quarter of 2010, but dropped to $136.3 million this year. In 2009, the profits were all the way up at $192.5 million, showing how far the industry has crashed in recent years.

Pennsylvania is a main reason why revenue has not rebounded in New Jersey casinos. Last year, Pennsylvania lawmakers legalized table games, and the games were installed and being offered at Pennsylvania casinos by last summer. In the year that the table games have been operational, Pennsylvania has become the gaming capital of the Northeast.

Analysts had predicted last year that Pennsylvania's gaming industry would surpass New Jersey by the end of 2012 in terms of overall revenue. It now appears that those estimates may have been off by a full year, with more and more gamblers now choosing Pennsylvania casinos over Atlantic City casinos.

While gambling was down at AC casinos, the hotels have been busy. The occupancy rate for AC hotels was up compared to the second quarter of 2010. That shows that people are starting to visit the city again on vacation, and now the casinos have to find a way to get those travelers back to the gambling tables.

Governor Chris Christie attempted to help the ailing industry last year when he ordered a series of summit meetings in which lawmakers discussed ways to increase gaming throughout the state. One idea that came out of those meetings was a willingness to allow smaller, boutique style gaming halls in AC. The city is offering licenses with a minimal investment and less hotel room requirements.

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