Atlantic City Profits Way Down: Sports Betting a Must

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Atlantic City

It's more bad news for Atlantic City as the East Coast casino empire witnessed gross operating profits decline by more than 38 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

Atlantic City has suffered especially hard from the worldwide economy proving that gambling is not a "recession proof" industry. 

Operating profits totaled $151.2 million for the three-month period compared to $243.8 million for the same period last year. Net revenues fell by 16.2 percent for the period to $925.2 million.

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa led the city with gross operating profits of $47 million for the quarter, but they were still down 16.6 percent, according to reports.

In addition to the recession, Atlantic City has fallen victim to competition from nearby New York City suburbs and Philadelphia, all of which have begun opening up slot parlors.

New Jersey state officials have contemplated legalizing online sports betting in an effort to boost both the state and Atlantic City economies. 

In March, The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA.org) announced that they will challenge the Federal law that prohibits the expansion of sports wagering to all but four states. iMEGA is joined in its suit by the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, The Thoroughbred Breeders Association of New Jersey, the Standardbred Breeder & Owners Association of New Jersey and New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-Union).

"It makes sense to take this huge underground national marketplace, estimated at more than $360 billion annually and bring it out into the light of day," said Joe Brennan Jr., chairman and CEO of iMEGA.

The latest numbers coming out of Atlantic City are widely believed to be the push needed for other politicians to support attempts for legalized sports wagering in the state, in particular Governor Jon Corzine, who has remained on the fence regarding this crucial issue.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher 

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