Christie Not Worried About Atlantic City Casino Revenues [AUDIO]
February figures show Atlantic City's casinos raked in 12.5 percent less from gamblers than they did during the same month last year. However, Governor Chris Christie is not concerned with the month-to-month numbers, which also showed a 13 percent drop in January compared to a year ago.
"Casino revenues is not the only way you should judge Atlantic City," Christie said. "This is why we're trying to transform Atlantic City into more of a destination resort."
The Governor's five-year revitalization plan, adopted in 2010, was aimed at creating new reasons for people to visit, such as shopping and entertainment. Christie said those factors, too, contribute to the city's bottom line.
"We're going to have to continue to work, to try to make sure that we do things that will turn Atlantic City around," said the Governor, who admitted the transformation can't happen overnight.
"These are problems that have developed over the course of a couple of decades," he added. "A lot of mistakes have been made over time."
Christie said even if Atlantic City makes the long-awaited turnaround, casino revenues may not make a full rebound due to competition that is "everywhere" in neighboring states.
The Governor expressed hope that online gambling would make a difference in the gambling halls' performance, as well as sports betting, which the state is currently fighting for in court.
Atlantic City casino revenue totaled just over $3 billion last year; it was $5.2 billion in 2006.