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Atlantic City Gaming Revenues Down

4 March 2003

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "Old Man Winter dealt the casinos a really bad hand last month.

"The snowiest February on record, including a blizzard over the usually blockbuster Presidents Day weekend, caused a 12.8 percent decline in gambling revenue, according to unofficial figures obtained Monday by The Press of Atlantic City.

"The 11 casinos won $299.3 million from gamblers, $44 million less than a year earlier.

"On a percentage basis, it was the casinos' worst monthly performance since a 13.6 percent decline in January 1994.

"…`Every three years Mother Nature is unkind to the casino industry in Atlantic City, and that occurred in February,' JPMorgan analyst Harry Curtis said. `The good news is that the disappointing results in February followed a stronger-than-expected January, so the shortfall is to some degree mitigated.'

"The industry's revenue through the first two months was 4.9 percent behind last year's pace.

"…The industry's performance would have been worse if the casinos hadn't played so lucky at the tables. They kept 16.2 percent of the money wagered compared to a more typical 15.6 percent a year earlier.

"…Overall revenue declined at every casino. Harrah's was the only casino to report a gain in slot revenue, up 0.8 percent. Harrah's is still getting big returns from its hotel and casino expansions last year…"

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