Atlantic Club, Revel, Showboat: Who’s next? [AUDIO]
How many casinos need to close before Atlantic City can start posting some pleasant revenue figures?
The resort town could go from 12 casinos at the start of 2014, to nine by the end of summer, but that still may not be enough to fix a market that's been destroyed by competition in nearby states.
The Atlantic Club closed in January, Revel could be done at the end of next month without a buyer, and Showboat intends to shut down on Aug. 31, but Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business Magazine, said more closures are necessary to "right-size the market."
"The surprise is that Trump Plaza has not closed so far," Gros said. "Trump Plaza needs to close, and probably one more casino needs to close."
Gros cited a "gaming capacity" issue in Atlantic City, an issue that may have been noticed by casinos like Resorts and Tropicana, which turned parts of their casino floors into eateries and nightlife options.
"We have too many slot machines. We have too many tables," Gros continued. "I'm expecting to see the actual number of devices downsized over the next couple of years."
Mayor Don Guardian, following the announcement of Showboat's impending closure, expressed sadness for the thousands of people who are losing their jobs in the city's casino industry, but noted the city is gradually becoming a resort destination in which gambling is only part of a much bigger picture.
"The biggest indicator that Atlantic City is in the process of reinventing itself is that while gaming revenues are down our non-gaming revenues have increased," Guardian said in a released statement. "Atlantic City's best days are still ahead."