Looking At The Casinos
The latest casino industry figures (here) show that through the end of May, casino win was up 1.8 percent. Caesars and Tropicana have been having a banner year, with casino win up more than 20 percent. Even better news for Atlantic City is that not all of this gaming revenue gain is coming from internet gaming. (In fact, Borgata’s internet gaming revenue is down 6.6 pct this year – no idea why). There is a ‘but’, though.The quarterly data (here) and the annual data (here) show that New Jersey’s casinos – unlike their Las Vegas peers – are still seeing sales of food and drink decline. (That revenue matters, because it backs up CRDA’s Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall debt via the luxury tax. It also matters because it shows the casinos are still struggling to diversify their revenue). Room tax revenue was also down last year (this is the full casino tax report).
One other casino-industry figure that is not immediately obvious in all the press releases, but which surfaced in the city’s debt issuance last month, is casino employment. Employment across all the casinos fell 7 percent last year to 22,000 people (10 years ago, the casinos employed just over 40,000). Last year, the Taj Mahal’s closure contributed to job losses. But even in May this year (admittedly still the ‘off’ season), there were 61 fewer casino jobs in Atlantic City than there were in December. So that rising gaming revenue does not yet seem to be translating into jobs.
SNJ Today interviewed Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman about its various projects. Beyond the development of the Atlantic City campus, an expansion of the Unified Science Center and a new health-sciences building, Kesselman said, “There’s another something like 14 or 15 other projects going on this summer on the main campus.” Read and watch the piece here.
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Where Are South Jersey Beaches Free?
The list misses out Somers Point (I know, it’s a ‘bay’ beach), but otherwise this is useful intel for visitors and locals alike here via Townsquare Media’s Cat Country.
In the rest of the news from the last 24 hours, Atlantic City residents and activists yesterday delivered 2,400 signatures to force a vote on any sale of the city’s water authority, NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto reached an agreement on school funding, Gov. Chris Christie has made some appointments to the Delaware River Port Authority board, Camden’s power-plant equipment company Holtec is looking to hire, Plagido’s Winery in Hammonton was named New Jersey Winery of the Year for the second year running, the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation raised a record $110,000 with its Paddle For a Cause this past weekend, and Gov. Candidate Phil Murphy wants a ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin. All that and more below: