Revel reveals revenue reversal in September

WAYNE PARRY, Associated Press

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Revel is going in reverse.

Atlantic City's newest casino took less money from gamblers in September than it did in August. The 6-month-old casino resort won $16.8 million last month, down from $20 million in August.

Atlantic City's 12 casinos collectively saw their September revenue fall by 6.3 percent to $276 million compared with September 2011.

So far, Revel has not been the catalyst that many in Atlantic City had hoped it would be. The gambling market has been shrinking here since 2007.

Revel CEO Kevin DeSanctis said the revenue decline was due to an unlucky month at table games; slots were basically flat compared with August. The table losses were not due to a handful of high-rollers hitting it big, but rather by a large number of players doing well, he said.

"It seems like everybody that came into Revel and played went away happy," he said. "Some months you're just going to hold more than others."

Since it opened in April, Revel has ranked 8th out of Atlantic City's 12 casinos in terms of revenue, a ranking it retained in September. In April, it won $13.4 million, followed by $13.9 million in May, $14.9 million in June, and $17.5 million in July.

DeSanctis said Revel continues to do well with its leisure and group stay customers, which he said are just as important to its bottom line as gambling customers are. But he said the casino needs to do better at slots and table games.

"We clearly have some things we need to improve," he said. "We have to get much better in gaining market share. We're just not doing it yet."

Collectively, Atlantic City's 12 casinos won $198.4 million at slots last month, down 3.2 percent from a year ago, and $77.6 million at table games, down 13.6 percent.

Only one casino, the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, posted a revenue increase. It was up 7.7 percent in September to $11.5 million.

The Tropicana Casino and Resort saw the biggest year-over-year monthly decline, 29 percent, to $21.5 million. Bally's Atlantic City was down 22.6 percent to $24.5 million. Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino was down 18.8 percent to $8.9 million, the lowest total of any Atlantic City casino. Its parent company, Trump Entertainment Resorts, has been shopping Trump Plaza to potential buyers for more than a year without success.

The Showboat Casino Hotel was down 15.3 percent to $19.4 million; Harrah's Resort Atlantic City was down 12.9 percent to $32.7 million; Resorts Casino Hotel was down 8.5 percent to $11.9 million; and the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort was down 8.3 percent to $27.9 million.

Caesars Atlantic City was down 7.2 percent to $33.3 million; the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was down 5.9 percent to $55.3 million, which was still by far the highest total in the city; and the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel was down 1.9 percent to $11.8 million.

For the first nine months of the year, casinos won $2.4 billion, down 4.8 percent from the same period in 2011.

The city's convention and visitors authority reported that the number of occupied hotel room nights over the summer increased by 11 percent compared with summer 2011. The increase was due in large part to the additional 1,400 rooms Revel brought to the market this year and the closure of the casino hotels for three nights in August 2011 due to Hurricane Irene.


Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC