Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Atlantic City Gets a Warning

New Jersey governor Chris Christie is laying down the law on Atlantic City's casinos.  He is giving them the year of 2014 to make strides to improve their financial health.  The Press of Atlantic City story quotes Christie:

"It's obviously a critical year because we need to begin to see progress in Atlantic City or we're going to start considering alternatives," and, "It's a year when we have to show some significant results."

Can't be much clearer than that.  So, what happens if results aren't obtained?  Well, Atlantic City's casino gambling monopoly would be at risk.  Competing interests, such as the horse racing industry, are desirous of getting casino gaming at their properties.  Another lackluster year out of Atlantic City would only fuel that fire.

How Atlantic City will intend to meet this hurdle is to consolidate - reduce the number of casinos and to an extent, reduce the number of hotel rooms.  The remaining casinos would hopefully be in better shape as they will make more money on a per property basis, even if the result would be less overall revenue, from both gaming and non-gaming sources.  If not, the competing interests will want to move casino gambling outside of Atlantic City to make their venues more competitive with increased casino gaming in adjoining states like New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Time may be running out on Atlantic City's casino monopoly.

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