Atlantic City casinos had a productive July despite the famed boardwalk featuring nearly as many striking workersas tourists.
According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, AC’s eight casinos reported total brick-and-mortar gaming revenue of just under $258m in July, up 5.3% from the same month last year. Total table game revenue rose 11% to $75.7m while slots were up 3.1% to $182.2m.
Add in the record $17.4m in online gambling revenue the state’s licensed sites reported last month and the overall gaming revenue figure was up 6.9% to $275.3m.
However, it should be noted that this July had one more weekend than July 2015, and since the casino operators love to blame revenue declines on the absence of such bonus weekends, it’s only fair to mention it when the shoe is on the other foot.
Five of the eight venues posted land-based revenue gains, led by the Borgata, which jumped 12.5% to a record $80.8m. The month’s biggest gain belonged to the Tropicana, which leapt 13.8% to $33.2m, nearly enough to dethrone perennial number twoHarrah’s, which fell 5.2% to $34.2m.
The rest of the pack finished as follows: Caesars Atlantic City ($31.2m, +7.6%), Bally’s ($21.7m, -4.8%), the Golden Nugget ($21.3m, +6.2%), Resorts ($17.9m, +6.2%) and the Trump Taj Mahal brought up the rear with $17.5m (-8.2%).
The Taj Mahal is set to close Oct. 10 after owner Carl Icahn lost patience (and reportedly $100m) with the venue’s striking unionized workers. Members of Unite-HERE’s Local 54 walked off the job during the July 4 holiday weekend to protest Icahn scrapping their healthcare and retirement benefits when he assumed ownership of the bankrupt property in 2014.
The strike is already the longest work stoppage in AC’s casino history and the union says it intends to go on picketing despite Icahn’s declaration that he’s taking his roulette ball and going home. Meanwhile, the 105 workers at the property’s Hard Rock Café just learned they will lose their jobs by Oct. 5, five days before the Taj’s 2,845 staff hit the bricks.
Source: Calvin Ayre