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Casino Revenue Up Around Nation, Down In NJ [AUDIO]

It’s good news for commercial casinos nationwide, bad news for Atlantic City. While gambling markets in Las Vegas and New York are bouncing back from the recession, New Jersey’s casino revenues remain down.

Flickr User Dougtone

Revenues were up 3% nationwide in 2011, according to an annual report by the American Gaming Association.

“The nation’s 492 non-Indian casinos or other legal gambling halls paid nearly $8 billion in taxes to state and local governments, a 4.5 percent increase over 2010″ said Frank Fahrenkopf, president of the AGA.

They also provided more than 339,000 jobs, a decline of less than half of 1 percent from a year earlier. And casino workers saw their pay decline by 3 percent last year, to $12.9 billion in wages, benefits and tips.

Las Vegas remains the nation’s largest casino market, with more than $6 billion in revenue last year.

Other notable gains in casino revenue were seen in Florida (16 percent); West Virginia (9.2 percent); Illinois (8 percent); Rhode Island (7.5 percent), and Oklahoma (6.4 percent).

Atlantic City saw the biggest revenue drop at 7%. “That’s mostly due to regional competition from table game operations in nearby Pennsylvania and Delaware.”

The report also found that more than a quarter of casino patrons surveyed said they rarely or never gamble, indicating that casinos are doing a better job of offering non-gambling attractions such as fine restaurants, spas, nightclubs and big-name entertainment.

“That bodes well for Revel, which made non-gaming attractions a top priority. I was surprised to see that revenues were only $13 million in the first month since it opened, but we’re hoping that once it completely opens on Memorial Day weekend that 2012 will be a good year and maybe help Atlantic City.”

“Casinos are bouncing back from the recession…people are willing to spend their discretionary income more these days” said Fahrenkopf.

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