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Atlantic City Casino Union Concerned With Revenue Declines

In-Person Gambling Drops In Six Of Nine Casinos Year Over Year

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Recent drops in in-person gambling revenue at Atlantic City casinos has left casino worker union leadership concerned about the industry.

Unite Here Local 54 President Donna DeCaprio, representing the city’s largest group of casino workers, told the Press of Atlantic City that “alarm bells should be ringing in Atlantic City and in Trenton” over declining in-person tourism at the state’s casinos.

DeCaprio added that February’s revenue report “confirms what those of us have been warning about over the past year — that attendance in our brick-and-mortar buildings is going in the wrong direction. It is incredibly troubling to see that six of the nine gaming properties have posted declines of casino-win compared to February 2023 and year-to-date compared to 2023.”

Sounding The Alarm

The state’s nine casinos reported live gaming revenue of $211.6 million for February, down 1.6% from $215 million last year. Year-to-date revenue is at $416.3 million, also down 2.4% compared to $426.6 million in 2023.

This is in contrast to online gaming, which reached $182.3 million in February, growth of 27.9% compared to $142.6 million in February 2023. DeCaprio said the falling in-person numbers not only affect union members but also the region’s economy as a whole.

“As lawmakers continue to proceed with the annual state budget process, representatives in the New Jersey Legislature must understand the perilous economic situation at hand for my members, and indeed all workers in Atlantic City,” DeCaprio said. “Not only is the overall in-person revenue troubling — but the size of the declines at some of the individual properties portends some serious instability for thousands of workers. The legislators need to take this into consideration as they consider policies that could compound the downward trends.”

Some legislators and those in the industry argue that moves like completely banning smoking in New Jersey casinos could hurt the industry even more at a time when casinos are already losing business.

“This is not the time to enact laws, such as a full smoking ban, that will further erode customer visitation and revenues to our properties,” Casino Association of New Jersey President Mark Giannantonio told the Press. “It is time for the City of Atlantic City and the State of New Jersey, in its oversight capacity over the City, to address the issues that are preventing economic growth and develop solutions that will increase visitation to Atlantic City.”