People in the service industry have realized that if Atlantic City is to survive off tourism, they have to up their game.
Poker winners alone aren’t going to keep Atlantic City afloat, according to the Business Insider. Thankfully, people with stakes in the city’s tourist industry have realized this and have been pushing in the past decade or so to upgrade everything in A.C. that could bring in more tourists. It seems like the colossal amounts of money spent of these projects is finally paying off.
Casino resorts saw that US poker rooms are not enough for tourists anymore, especially since the appearance of internet casinos. People became comfortable, so they are less prone to travel all the way to another city to gamble when they can hit up a vast array of gambling apps and sites on their phones. So, as Business Insider reports, these economic entities added extras to their basic concepts: restaurants, swimming pools, bars and entertainment centers, like venues and clubs were constructed. Fortunately, this tactic started to bring in the big bucks again.
Increasing revenues thanks to the new amenities
Business Insider stated that there has been a gradual growth in cash sales when it comes to non-gambling entities within casinos. Two years ago, these brought in 22.3% of the revenue, but now, that figure has increased to 28.5%. This is not a bad rate, especially if we count in the fact that we are looking at the last two years. Furthermore, according to a study lead by Tourism Economics, bars managed to bump up employee salaries by almost 40%. There is no information on profit gained in the past few years, but Business Insider reports that some casinos have boasted of great improvement in that area.
Locals, too, have become weary of gambling. They would rather prefer having other forms of entertainment in the city, because casinos have lost their interesting flair. It was okay when there were not many casinos around; they gained a kind of exotic aura that made people crazy about them. Business Insider states that people were willing to get on an organized bus tour that lasted many hours to be able to play. This, however, quickly stopped when casinos around the area started popping up. Just as mobile casino gambling made people comfortable; why would you drive to a casino far away when everything can easily be accessed through the internet?
Something more, something exciting
Even the locals in Atlantic City have been rejoicing thanks to new attractions. Among these is the The Playground, realized by developer Bart Blatstein. It wasn’t a cheap matter, mind you: according to Business Insider, it cost USD 52 million. The complex is basically an homage to music. There are music-themed bars and concert venues, all resembling Nashville’s Music Row. They plan on adding a bowling alley and a fantasy sports bar, too. Casino executives like Tony Rodio say that there isn’t such a big difference between revenues of non-gambling and gambling entities anymore.
The underlying problem, as Business Insider says, is the fact that Atlantic City realized that they needed extras a bit too late. Even with all the added attractions, casino revenues continue to decrease. The highest revenue was USD 5.2 billion nearly ten years ago, in 2006. Since then, the fall of incomes is evident. Mobile casinos aren’t helping matters, either. Last year, the revenue barely reached USD 2.74 billion, which is around half of the total income from ten years ago. A recent survey conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University revealed that 40% of visitors listed non-gambling attractions as the main priority in a casino. Atlantic City is faced with one choice: to expand casinos with as many extras as possible.