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Atlantic City's October casino revenues up by 3.6 percent

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WAYNE PARRY | AP

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Atlantic City's casino revenues were up by 3.6 percent in October compared with the same month in 2012, but the increase was mainly because Superstorm Sandy forced the resort to shut down a year ago.

The increase — only the fourth in the last five years — was largely because Sandy forced the 12 casinos to shut down for six to nine days in late October and early November last year. The casinos showed an increase in August 2012, but that was a year after Tropical Storm Irene again forced casinos to close. Other year-over-year gains came in December 2011 and August 2008.

The city's 12 casinos brought in $216.9 million in October 2013. Slot machine revenue was up 9.7 percent to $163.6 million, but table games revenue fell by 11.5 percent to $53.3 million, due to a lower hold rate for the casinos at those games.

No one had a worse month at table games than did the Tropicana Casino and Resort, where table games revenue was down an eye-popping 118 percent. The casino posted a monthly loss at table games of more than $588,000, compared with winnings of $3.2 million in October 2012.

The Tropicana in recent years adopted a strategy of high-stakes table games to attract high-rollers, or the so-called "whales" that the gambling industry covets. The strategy has led to solid gains at times, but also to staggering losses from time to time as players rack up multimillion-dollar wins at the tables.

Tropicana President Tony Rodio said that happened again at least once last month, but he would not say whether more than one person hit the casino for a big score. For the month, the Tropicana took in $13.8 million, a decline of 14.6 percent from a year ago.

"October's results would have been even better, but the industry reported an unusually low hold at the gaming tables," said Matthew Levinson, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. "If the hold percentage had remained stable, casinos would have brought in several million dollars in additional revenue."

The Tropicana was particularly battered at the craps tables, where it lost $3.6 million.

Revel Casino Hotel, which may be headed for the auction block or for a second spin through bankruptcy court, was up 21 percent for the month, to $11.2 million. Revel was buoyed by a good month at the slot machines, where revenue was up more than 58 percent.

The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa was up 13.2 percent to $47.6 million; Resorts Casino Hotel was up 12 percent to $10.6 million; the Golden Nugget Atlantic City was up 10.1 percent to $9.5 million; and the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, which filed for bankruptcy last week and is selling itself at an auction, was up 9.5 percent to $10.8 million.

The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort was up 8.9 percent to $20.2 million; the Showboat Casino Hotel was up 6.5 percent to $16.1 million; and Harrah's Atlantic City Resort and Casino was up 3.9 percent to $27.6 million.

Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino continued to struggle, down $24.3 percent to just $4.9 million for the month, hurt by double-digit declines at both table games and slots. Bally's Atlantic City was down 12.9 percent to $17.2 million, and Caesars was down less than 1 percent to $26.8 million.

For the first 10 months of the year, the casinos won $2.4 billion, down 8.3 percent from the same period last year. It now appears likely Atlantic City's annual casino revenues will fall below $3 billion for the first time since 1991, when their take was $2.99 billion.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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