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Atlantic City Casino Bus Traffic Drops - Again

21 August 2002

ATLANTIC CITY -- As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: ``... Casino bus traffic is falling for the fourth straight year, further reflecting a trend by the gaming industry to cut back on unprofitable daytrippers in favor of more lucrative overnight guests.

``Figures released Tuesday by the South Jersey Transportation Authority show that bus patrons account now for only 25 percent of the total number of visitors to Atlantic City, compared to 29 percent just four years ago.

``If trends hold through the rest of the year, there will be fewer than 8 million visitors arriving by bus, down dramatically from 10 million in 1998.

``...Historically, casino bus traffic has been a major source of visitors to tourist-dependent Atlantic City, trailing only the number of people arriving by automobile. However, the number of buses has declined three years in a row and statistics through June indicate that 2002 will be another down year.

``...but casinos have been cutting back in recent years on the free coin packages, complimentary buffet lunches and other giveaways used to entice low-rolling bus patrons, Crawford said. Now casinos are targeting overnight guests who stay longer and spend more money.

``...Up until two years ago, an average of 1,100 casino buses a day would travel to Atlantic City. But last year, that number dropped to 902 a day and is on track to fall to an average of 897 in 2002, statistics show..."

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