ATLANTIC CITY - The decline in Atlantic City casino revenues returned to double digits in November, dampening hopes that the worst is over for the city's struggling gambling industry.
Revenues for the city's 11 casinos fell by 13.4 percent in November compared to a year ago.
The previous two months had seen only single-digit decreases, and casino operators in the nation's second-largest gambling market had hoped that another decline of less than 10 percent would signal that the market had hit bottom.
Overall, the casinos won $299.3 million. Slots revenue accounted for $206.8 million of that total, table games the rest.
The Atlantic City casinos have been battered by the recession and competition from slots parlors in neighboring Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware.
The Atlantic City results were hurt because there was one less Saturday during November this year, but only slightly.
"There's no sugar coating it," said Joe Weinert, senior vice president of Spectrum Gaming Group, a New Jersey casino consulting firm. "It's another poor result for the Atlantic City casinos."
While the results may fluctuate on a month-to-month basis, there's more pain in store for Atlantic City in the year ahead, Weinert said, because still more competition is coming. He noted the scheduled opening of the Sugar House casino in Philadelphia and live table games likely to begin operating in Delaware and possibly also in Pennsylvania.
Only one Atlantic City casino saw an increase in revenue in November, and that was minuscule: 0.1 percent at the Showboat Casino Hotel.
Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino saw the largest decline, 20.3 percent, followed closely by Resorts Atlantic City at 20 percent. Others showing double-digit declines were Bally's Atlantic City (down 16.1 percent), the Atlantic City Hilton and Trump Marina Hotel Casino (both down 15.3 percent), Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort (down 13.5 percent) and the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa (down 11.3 percent).
Only three casinos showed single-digit decreases: Harrah's Atlantic City and Tropicana Casino and Resort (both down 2.3 percent), and Caesars Atlantic City (down 1.3 percent).
For the first 11 months of the year, casino revenues are down 13.5 percent compared with 2008.