According to reports Atlantic City is struggling to keep up, especially after the new Revel hotel went bust and sold to the Hard Rock brand and more than half of the mortgages in Las Vegas are going under water. There are also a lot of Underground casinos opening up all around the country and online gambling legislation underway in various states. It seems as if the reasons for the very existence of Atlantic City and Las Vegas are in serious jeopardy.
As of 2013, racinos are legal in ten states: Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
Tracks like Delaware Park and West Virginia’s Mountaineer Park, once considered places where local degenerates bet on broken-down nags in claiming races, are now among the wealthiest tracks around, with the best races.
The famous Aqueduct race track in Queens, NY, once facing an uncertain future, now possesses the most profitable casino in the United States.
From June 2012 to June 2013, Aqueduct matched a quarter of Atlantic City’s total gaming revenue from its dozen casinos: $729.2 million compared with A.C.’s $2.9 billion. It has taken an estimated 15 percent hit on New Jersey casino revenue and climbing.
And it isn’t just Aqueduct that’s taking business away from them. Atlantic City’s closest major city, Philadelphia, only 35-40 minutes away, and one of the largest cities in America, now has a casino that has contributed heavily to the decline in gamers visiting the area.
The situation in Vegas isn’t much better. The Great Recession of the late 2000s hit Las Vegas hard. As the recession wore on, and as gambling received approval in various jurisdictions throughout the United States, folks realized they didn’t need to travel thousands of miles just to gamble.
Casino revenues and the price of real estate plummeted. Unemployment went as high as 14 percent, however unofficially, local officials said it may have been as high as 30 percent.
More than half of all home owners with a mortgage in the entire state of Nevada owe more than their homes are worth.
Time will tell if these two cities will end up like Detroit. However, the fact that they are losing their biggest industries to major competition, much like Detroit did, with depressed housing, casinos bankrupting/closing and businesses fleeing, makes their fate seem eerily similar.
I can’t see Vegas turning into a complete waste. I mean that is still sin city and too many events go on there so they will be fine. Atlantic City on the other hand is a tough one. I guess time will tell, besides they are still trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy.