|By Donald Wittkowski, The Press of
Atlantic City, Pleasantville, N.J.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Feb. 26, 2011--ATLANTIC CITY -- Revenue and gross operating profits fell in the fourth quarter of 2010 at the four Atlantic City casinos owned by Caesars Entertainment Corp., the company reported Friday.
Net revenues for the Atlantic City Region came in at $417.8 million, a nearly 11 percent decline from $467.4 million in the same period of 2009. Gross operating profits plunged 51 percent to $32.9 million.
Caesars blamed tighter consumer spending in the weak economy, competition from Pennsylvania's casinos and the Dec. 26 blizzard for a drop in business.
"It's no question those quarterly results were disappointing," Jonathan Halkyard, Caesars chief financial officer, told gaming analysts during a conference call.
Caesars owns the Bally's, Caesars, Harrah's Resort and Showboat casinos in Atlantic City. The company's Atlantic City Region also includes the Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack in Pennsylvania. The company does not give a financial breakdown for the individual casinos.
Gary Loveman, chairman and chief executive officer, said the Harrah's and Caesars casinos have been strong, but noted that Bally's and Showboat have struggled in a competitive market.
Loveman said the company is hopeful of Gov. Chris Christie's initiatives to revive the Atlantic City gaming industry, now mired in a four-year revenue slump. Christie signed a legislative package Feb. 1 that loosened New Jersey's gaming regulations and created a state-run Tourism District to oversee the casino zones, beaches and Boardwalk.
"I think we are in a period where we can see some stabilization in that market," Loveman said on the conference call.
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