ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Thousands of people came to Atlantic City to see Miss America last month, but not enough of them ventured into a casino to boost the gambling halls' monthly revenue.
Atlantic City's casinos saw their revenue fall by nearly 13 per cent in September compared with the same month last year.
The city's 12 casinos won $240.2 million from gamblers, a decline of 12.9 per cent from September 2012.
Table games revenue was $62.9 million, down nearly 19 per cent from a year ago, and slots revenue was $177.3 million, down 10.6 per cent from a year ago.
State regulators said the slot decline was partly due to gamblers betting nearly $4 million less in promotional credits last month.
The return of the Miss America pageant was seen as a catalyst for increased tourism in the resort; 20,593 people attended the four nights of competition at Boardwalk Hall. But those visitors did not translate into increased gambling revenue.
Eleven of the 12 casinos posted monthly declines. Only the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel showed an increase, up nearly 4 per cent for the month to $12.3 million.
The biggest decline was at Caesars Atlantic City, down 28.5 per cent to $23.8 million. Close behind was Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, down 28 per cent to $6.4 million, and the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, down 18.9 per cent to $22.6 million.
Bally's Atlantic City was down 18.1 per cent to just over $20 million; the Showboat Casino Hotel was down 16.8 per cent to $16.1 million; and Revel Casino Hotel, which announced a new president on Thursday, was down 11.9 per cent to $14.8 million.
Harrah's Resort Atlantic City was down 9.8 per cent to $29.5 million; the Golden Nugget Atlantic City was down 6.8 per cent to $10.7 million; and the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa was down 6.5 per cent to $51.7 million.
The Tropicana Casino and Resort was down 6.1 per cent to $20.2 million, and Resorts Casino Hotel was down 2.7 per cent to $11.5 million, a figure Resorts president Mark Giannantonio said was due largely to a very lucky month at table games for gamblers. He said the newly opened Margaritaville complex, as well as other new offerings rolled out in recent months, have driven new revenue to a casino that was on the verge of having to close three years ago. Resorts saw its slot machine winnings increase by more than 10 per cent last month, to just over $10 million.
"We are very happy with our volume overall and customer response to our product," he said.
For the first nine months of the year, the casinos won $2.2 billion, down 9.3 per cent from a year ago.
Atlantic City's casinos reached a high of $5.2 billion in revenue in 2006, just before casinos started popping up all around it in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland. Last year, revenue had fallen to just over $3 billion, and it could fall below that mark without a strong showing in the final three months of this year.
October and November are likely to show increases this year, mainly because Superstorm Sandy forced the casinos to shut down for up to a week last year.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC