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Atlantic City Casino Success Affects Local Economy

5 July 2002

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "Early each month, Charles W. Fischer anxiously waits to see the financial report for the casino industry. He'll like what he sees today: June gaming revenue up 2.4 percent, the industry's eighth straight month of increases.

"`I think our economic activity undoubtedly parallels the activity of the casinos, without a doubt. I follow it very closely,' said Fischer, vice president of Fischer Flowers, a local florist that serves every casino.

"…Casino revenue, or the amount gamblers lost after all wagers were paid, amounted to $375.2 million in June, $8.7 million better than the same month last year, according to unofficial figures obtained Tuesday by The Press of Atlantic City.

"…Fischer Flowers is one of 1,300 Atlantic County suppliers who last year received $1.1 billion in casino orders. Casinos are the lifeblood for many of the vendors.

"Hsi-hua McCartney, owner of the Black Tiger seafood company in Egg Harbor City, has mixed feelings about revenue increases such as this. The success fuels corporate consolidation, which has led to national-purchasing contracts that hurt local suppliers, she said.

"…Slot-machine revenue, which accounts for three-fourths of the casinos' business, increased 4.6 percent in June. Table-games revenue declined 3.9 percent despite slightly better luck for the casinos.

"Caesars gained the top spot on the revenue list at $47.3 million, up 22.1 percent over the same month last year.

"…Traditional revenue king Trump Taj Mahal slipped to third at $43.6 million, down 6.3 percent on worse luck at the tables. Trump Marina, however, had great luck at the tables, leading to an 11.6 percent gain in overall revenue.

"Resorts, showing big gains in both slots and tables, reported the second-biggest percentage increase at 18.5 percent.

"Harrah's, which opened a new hotel tower and expanded casino in May, led the city in slot-machine revenue gain at 16.5 percent.

"…Sands, feeling the pain of discarding more than half its table games, reported a 20.5 percent revenue decline. The 400 slot machines replacing the tables began operating in the last two weeks.

"Revenue declined 11.3 percent at Tropicana, which is building a $225 million addition…"

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