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Bad start of 2011 for Atlantic City

New Jersey's gambling mecca of Atlantic City has recorded another dismal month of falling revenues, with the New Jersey Casino Control Commission reporting that revenues in January this year fell 13%.

The casinos won $164.9 million at the slot machines, a decrease of 15.6% from January 2010, and $90.5 million at table games, down 8.3% from a year ago.

The slump follows four consecutive years of declining fortunes brought about by growing competition from neighbouring states and the tough economic climate.

The Commission's website reveals that betting proceeds shrank to $255.4 million, and that slot machine revenue at the 11 AC casinos slid 16% from a year earlier to $164.9 million. Table game winnings were down 8.3% to $90.5 million.

The casinos paid $20.4 million in taxes in January and $3.2 million in state-mandated reinvestment obligations.

Over the year 2010 AC revenues tumbled to $3.57 billion from a peak of $5.2 billion in 2006.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is overhauling regulators and creating a tourism district around the casinos to help halt the market wide decline, which is hurting tax revenue.

But a month on from significant State Senate and Assembly votes to legalise online gambling in the state, boosting tax revenues, the governor still sits on the new law, and there has been no indication of whether he will give it his imprimatur, or exercise the gubernatorial veto.

In related news, local NJ media reported a further round of lay-offs at the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, which sent notices on Tuesday to all 33 of its clerical employees. Last week, the commission notified 115 of its 144 casino inspectors they will be losing their jobs and said other inspectors probably would be shown the door as well.

The Casino Control Commission had 260 employees before the layoff notices started going out last week.

Source: InfoPowa News

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