Jan 10 (Reuters) - Revenues for Atlantic City casinos in 2012 fell 8 percent from the previous year to $3.05 billion, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported on Thursday.
For the month of December, revenues fell 8.9 percent from the previous month, to $223.5 million. That monthly decline was less steep than November’s sharp fall of 27.9 percent, when damage from Superstorm Sandy closed oceanfront casinos and brought travel and spending throughout the region to a halt.
Atlantic City had been suffering prior to the storm because of competition from gaming venues in neighboring states, said David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
“The city is still facing a lot of obstacles,” he said. “Sandy had a negative impact, but it really only exacerbated the ongoing decline. It didn’t cause it.”
On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed putting three new casinos in struggling upstate New York cities as part of that state’s ongoing plan to expand gaming, which still needs final legislative approval.
Casino revenues are a source of education funding in some areas, as well as property tax relief.
In Atlantic City, the casino industry paid $15.7 million in taxes on gross revenues. The money pays for social programs for seniors and disabled people.