The snowiest month ever recorded in Atlantic City kept would-be gamblers frozen in their homes in February, contributing to a 15.7 percent decrease in casino revenues.
The 11 casinos in the nation's second-largest gambling market took in $261.6 million last month as three major snowstorms pounded the East Coast.
The casinos took in $176.2 million at the slot machines, down 17.8 percent from last February, and another $85.4 million from table games, down 11 percent from last year.
Dan Heneghan, a spokesman for the state Casino Control Commission, said Atlantic City received 36.6 inches of snow in February.
That cost the four Atlantic City casinos owned by Harrah's Entertainment Inc. between $16 million and $20 million, according to Don Marrandino, the company's eastern division president.
"There were 10 snow days, and during those days, we were down 39 percent," he said.
Every casino in Atlantic City reported a revenue drop, ranging from a whopping 32.6 percent decline at the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort to a 0.3 percent decline at Caesars Atlantic City. Marrandino attributed Caesars' showing to a particularly strong month of table games for the casino.
February saw the biggest monthly decline in the seven-year history of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. The city's newest casino, which regularly dominates the Atlantic City market, saw its revenue fall 20.6 percent in February.
Resorts Atlantic City, which handed itself over to its lenders in December because it could no longer make payments on its mortgage, was down 30.5 percent. Trump Marina Hotel Casino, the weakest of the three Trump Entertainment casinos currently in bankruptcy court, was down 29.1 percent. Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino was down 18.8 percent, the Tropicana Casino and Resort, which was sold Monday to billionaire Carl Icahn, was down 15.6 percent, and the Showboat casino Hotel was down 14.6 percent.
The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort was down 12.9 percent; Bally's Atlantic City was down 12.3 percent, and Harrah's Resort Atlantic City was down 7.9 percent.
Atlantic City is in the fourth year of a revenue decline that began when the slots parlors started opening in the Philadelphia suburbs in Nov. 2006. Since then, competition has popped up all around New Jersey, and several neighboring states are preparing to offer table games, which will further cut into Atlantic City's customer base.
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