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Atlantic City Casino January Win Up

12 February 2002

by Joe Weinert

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- The city's dozen casinos won $328.8 million from gamblers in January, a 6.2 percent increase over the same month last year, according to preliminary figures. Casino executives were delighted with the result, especially coming after a blockbuster December in which revenue increased 17.6 percent.

"In my opinion we're going to have a better year than people are expecting," said Mark Brown, chief operating officer of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts. "Look at how we finished the year. No one was expecting that. I'm hoping the (bad) weather is behind us. We had record-breaking warm weather (in January) and it shows in the numbers."

The January increase gave the industry's it's first three-month streak of revenue growth since fall 2000.

Good luck and warm weather helped casinos during the month. They kept 16.9 percent of table wagers compared to only 14.5 percent a year earlier. Temperatures in the 60s also helped lure gamblers to the seaside casinos.

Resorts Atlantic City reported the biggest revenue increase for the month, up 21.5 percent to $20.5 million. President Audrey Oswell said a host of new slot machines and a frequent-gambler incentive caused the big gain.

Trump Taj Mahal was revenue king for the month, winning $41.3 million, slightly more than Caesars. Sands, Showboat, Caesars and Hilton joined Resorts in posting double-digit percentage increases.

"Although Las Vegas appears to be on a path to recovery, gaming volume in Atlantic City continues to trend above Las Vegas levels, which is not surprising given Atlantic City's low dependence on air travel and higher dependence on slot revenues," ABN Amro gaming analyst Joseph Greff said. "Historically, slot volume has withstood downturns in the economy better

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