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AC revenue plunges for second straight year

12 January 2009

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- As reported by The Press of Atlantic City: "Ray Waszkiewicz felt a little lonely while sitting all by himself amid row after empty row of slot machines at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.

"The 78-year-old retired machinist, who hops a bus at his home in Saddle Brook, Bergen County, for monthly gambling trips to Atlantic City, could never remember it being so quiet on the casino floor.

"'It's almost empty,' he said. 'There are fewer and fewer people. There is hardly anybody here. It used to be so crowded.'

"With the country in an economic tailspin and people cutting back on their gambling budgets, Atlantic City casinos suffered their second straight year of lower revenue in 2008 - a stunning 7.6 percent decline.

"Figures released Friday also showed a dismal December in which revenue plunged 18.7 percent, the biggest monthly drop in the city's 30-year history of legalized gambling. Previously, the worst month ever was a 15.1 percent decline set in September.

"Altogether, the 11 casinos posted $4.55 billion in revenue last year, compared to $4.92 billion in 2007 and the record haul of $5.22 billion in 2006. Slot winnings slumped 9.6 percent to $3.13 billion and revenue from table games was off 3 percent to $1.41 billion.

"Until 2007, casinos enjoyed 28 consecutive years of revenue growth. The results for 2008 marked the lowest annual casino "win" since the $4.49 billion posted in 2003..."

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