AC woes continue; UK government to change slot machines laws

TAGs: Atlantic City, UK

Atlantic City from the airAtlantic City’s woes show no sign of slowing as the city’s casinos posted a combined loss in revenue of 9% in May compared with a year ago. All 11 casinos in the Jersey city saw revenue fall to $290.6million and the biggest loser was one man who was rumored to be aiming for the White House. Trump Plaza Hotel Casino saw revenue fall by 25% from $17.3million last year to $13million. For the first five months of 2011, combined AC casinos win was $1.4billion, a figure that is down 7.6% compared with the same period last year. Caesars was the best performer of anyone in the city with a drop in revenue of 1.4% from $35.3million to $34.8million. Just goes to show that had AC decided to urge operators to diversify, they might not be in such peril now.

Over the other side of the pond, the British government may have taken on board some of Dr Patrick Basham’s comments about gambling being part of a healthy lifestyle. Parliament proposals are looking at allowing amusement arcades and bingo halls to have 20% more B3 slot machines. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport are hoping it will revive ailing seaside economies. Even they are wary of having to be sensible, and its own assessment said, “Additional category B3 gaming machines could pose a threat to the licensing objective of the Gambling Act and in particular the protection of young people and the vulnerable from the harm that can be caused by problem gambling, particularly if numbers were to increase in an unlimited fashion.”

Bingo slotsQuaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs called the decision “deeply disappointing.”

In response to the expected widespread criticism, A DCMS spokesman told the Daily Mirror: “Ministers continue to keep gambling laws under review and won’t hesitate to take action if needed.”

In moderation it can be a good thing and as Dr Basham said, retirees who “remain active in the community and constantly engage in social activity, often, largely or exclusively through gambling, live happier and healthier lives.”


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