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Atlantic City Looks Beyond Gambling

24 November 2004

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer: " A replica of 1950s pre-communist Havana opened in this capitalist gambling haven yesterday.

"The $285 million retail, dining and entertainment complex called the Quarter at Tropicana Casino & Resort - this city's largest nongaming expansion project to date - was specifically designed to capture Old Havana in its pre-Fidel Castro heyday.

"…The Old Havana concept for the Quarter is borrowed directly from the Forum Shops in Las Vegas, where nongambling revenue accounted for 57 percent of last year's $10.4 billion in total revenue for the Strip's 40 casinos. It represents Atlantic City's attempt to boost nongambling revenue, as slot-machine competition intensifies from neighboring states, including Pennsylvania.

"The Quarter is the second of a trifecta of major retail establishments to open in Atlantic City. Last summer, the Walk, an eight-block outdoor mall in the heart of downtown opened. Next year, the Pier at Caesars, a $120 million retail project that will be linked to Caesars casino, is scheduled to be completed.

"Last week's third-quarter report from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission showed that 'other' revenue for the city's 12 casinos rose 23 percent, from $100.5 million to $124 million, for the first nine months of 2004, compared with the same period a year ago. But other revenue, which encompasses anything other than casino, hotel, and food and beverage revenue, accounted for less 3 percent of total revenue for the nine months ended Sept. 30.

"Michael Pollock, publisher of Gaming Industry Observer, said the Quarter would help generate more nongaming business.

"…Industry analysts say The Quarter will help Atlantic City attract a different customer…"

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