ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey — Atlantic City's casino revenue increased by more than 27 percent in November compared to a year ago, and that's only because Superstorm Sandy forced the casinos to close for nearly a week in November 2012.
The 12 casinos won $224.7 million last month, compared to $176.6 million in November 2012, when the storm closed the casinos for most of the first week of the month. And for many weeks after they reopened, business was down severely as customers tended to their storm-damaged homes.
The storm hit on Oct. 29, 2012.
Atlantic City's casino revenue for October of this year was up 3.6 percent.
This marks the first time Atlantic City has recorded back-to-back monthly increases since August and September 2006, just before the first Pennsylvania casino opened nearby, touching off an unbroken period of declining casino revenue for Atlantic City. Pennsylvania now has 12 casinos — the same as New Jersey.
The 27.2 percent increase is the second-largest in the 35 years since casino gambling began in New Jersey, second only to the was 30.1 percent increase seen in Feb. 2004.
The increase — only the fifth in the last five years — was largely because Sandy forced the 12 casinos to shut down for six to nine days in late October and early November last year. The casinos showed an increase in August 2012, but that was a year after Tropical Storm Irene again forced casinos to close. Other year-over-year gains came in December 2011 and August 2008.
In November, the casinos won $164.4 million at slot machines, up 30.3 percent from a year ago, and $60.3 million at table games, up 19.5 from last November.
Only one casino — Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino — managed to win less this November than it did a year ago. It won nearly $4.8 million, down 2.6 percent.
The biggest percentage gain came at Revel Casino Hotel, which was up 133 percent to $14.5 million, compared to the $6.2 million it won last November. The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, which hopes to sell itself at a bankruptcy court auction next week, was up 44.7 percent; The Tropicana Casino and Resort was up 44.5 percent to $18.4 million; and Resorts Casino Hotel was up 43.8 percent to $10.3 million.
Caesars Atlantic City was up 29 percent to $24.4 million; Harrah's Resort Atlantic City was up 27.4 percent to $30.1 million, and Bally's Atlantic City was up 20.1 percent to $18.2 million.
The Showboat Casino Hotel was up 19.2 percent to $13.7 million; the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was up 18.9 percent to $50.8 million, the Golden Nugget Atlantic City was up 10.4 percent to $9.9 million, and the Trump Taj Mahal was up 8.6 percent to $18.3 million.
Internet gambling began last month in New Jersey, but the state won't begin reporting online revenue results until next month. The state Division of Gaming Enforcement said 71,486 online gambling accounts had been created as of Sunday.
For the first 11 months of this year, the casinos won $2.7 billion, down 6.1 percent from the same period last year.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC