The Closing Of Caesars Showboat Casino Could Benefit Atlantic City
The online gambling debate in the U.S. has heated up in the last six months both from within the industry itself and from outsiders. The most powerful and damaging opponent to online gambling expansion is without a doubt that of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. One of his main arguments in favor of banning online gambling is the fact that it will cannibalize the casino industry. Simply put many will gamble online instead of visiting the land and brick casinos.
There is little debate that the casino pie is getting smaller with the market base not growing quick enough to sustain new casinos. While this is leading to many casinos closing down there are those who see this as a positive as the industry needs to ensure they remain lean and mean and get rid of under performing casinos.
Atlantic City has seen a major downturn in revenues from the $5.3 billion in 2006 to only $2.86 billion in 2013. The latest casino to close is that of the Showboat casino which belongs to Caesars. This means that out of the 12 casinos operating at the beginning of the year there may well be only nine left as the Atlantic Club is dead and the Revel is set to close if a buyer is not found.
While some only see doom and gloom in the struggling Atlantic City casino economy, there are voices pointing out the possible positive effects a downsizing could have. One such voice is that of Mayor Don Guardian who believes that Atlantic City has to come to grips with the fact that they are not merely a gambling destination but rather a “multi-faceted” destination of which betting plays a part.
He went on to say,” There is pain as we go through this transition, but it’s critical for Atlantic City to realize we are no longer the monopoly of gaming on the east coast. If you build more and more casinos and don’t increase the amount of people coming to them, you’re sharing that wealth. We’re just going through a very difficult time.”
Even many financial analysts like Fitch Ratings believe there is an upside in the shutdown of non-performing casinos. In a statement the company said,” The closure makes financial sense for Caesars and is a positive for the oversupplied Atlantic City market. Caesars will likely recapture most of the Showboat customers at its three other resorts in Atlantic City.”