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Atlantic City casinos regroup after slump

22 January 2008

ATLANTIC CITY -- As reported by the New Jersey Business: "...Atlantic City's casinos had an annual revenue decline last year for the first time in the gambling resort's 29-year history.

"...Atlantic City's 11 casinos began competing last year with new Pennsylvania slot parlors at Philadelphia Park in Bensalem, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs near Wilkes-Barre and Chester Casino & Racetrack—as well as an increased number of slot machines at Yonkers Raceway in New York.

"The good news is gaming revenue in Atlantic City is expected to increase by 2 percent this year and generate $4.99 billion, according to projections by Spectrum Gaming Group, a Linwood-based gaming research firm that correctly predicted this year's downturn.

"The revenue increase will be 'fueled in part by the addition of 2,500 hotel rooms coming online in 2008' and the continuing draw of the city's 'retail, dining and other attractions,' said Harvey B. Perkins, a senior vice president for analysis at Spectrum.

"The new hotel rooms—which increase the number of gamblers who can stay overnight in the gambling resort—will be in new towers being built by the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Harrah's Casino Hotel and Trump Taj Mahal.

"Further, the city expects at least 10,000 more hotel rooms over the next 10 years, said Linda M. Kassekert, Casino Control Commission chairwoman.

"...Helping spur the development of new casinos is the state's relatively modest taxes.

"...The ongoing expansion of The Walk shopping center—at the foot of the Atlantic City Expressway—and the first full year of activity at The Pier Shops at Caesars will help draw younger customers for longer stays, said Richard C. Perniciaro, director of the Center for Regional Business and Research at Atlantic Cape Community College..."

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