Atlantic City continues transition into multi-faceted tourism destination
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - Atlantic City's beach is busy, its Boardwalk is bustling, its nightclubs are buzzing, its restaurants are full and its stores are enjoying brisk sales.
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Atlantic City’s beach is busy, its Boardwalk is bustling, its nightclubs are buzzing, its restaurants are full and its stores are enjoying brisk sales. In short, it’s a typical summer day at the seaside resort.
Amid all the umbrellas in the sand and visitors strolling on the Boardwalk, the fact is that Atlantic City is a destination in transition.
Atlantic City, which used to be one of only two U.S. jurisdictions with legalized casino gaming, is currently in the midst of an aggressive, multi-year effort to broaden its appeal among non-gamers. As gaming supply outstrips demand regionally and nationally, mature casino markets such as Atlantic City, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and others are being impacted by the proliferation of casino gambling nationwide.
The glut of slot machines and table games recently led ratings agency Moody’s Investors Services Inc. to lower its outlook on the nation’s casino industry to “negative” from “stable.” Total domestic gaming revenue was down 1.8 percent in April and 0.8 percent in May for 15 of 18 jurisdictions that had released May results in time to be included in the Moody’s report.
Regionally, New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut are facing significant competition from casinos in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland.
“Consider that Atlantic City was host to nearly 39,000 slot positions in 2006,” said Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian. “Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland have since nearly doubled the number of regional slot positions, adding 36,000 – with more to come. Fortunately, this trend of increased supply and competition isn’t a surprise to Atlantic City. We’re making significant progress in our transition to a destination that relies less on casino gambling and more on a comprehensive mix of attractions to draw tourists to the Jersey Shore.”