Sandy Wracks Atlantic City
Atlantic City’s casinos are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, laying off or cutting the hours of workers, and making others take unpaid leave.
Atlantic City has 12 casinos and all closed because of the storm for about a week in late October and early November. Even after they reopened, business has slowed considerably.
The Atlantic Club reacted with layoffs; the two Trump casinos are making salaried workers take a week of unpaid time off and barring hourly workers from using vacation days for time they were off during the storm.
Moody’s predicts casino revenue could drop 25 percent for the next six months, with earnings down 40 percent to 50 percent over the same period. In comparison, casinos outside New Jersey should see less than a 2 percent impact to their business through the first quarter of 2013.
“I think it’s going to take a few months before we get back to normal because of the impact to the homes and businesses of our customers,” said Tony Rodio, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey.
“But it’s not so bad as it could have been. When you think about the long-term viability of Atlantic City and what we’re trying to do in terms of becoming a destination market, if there had been major storm damage to the casinos, that would have been an impact that would have lasted for years. But that didn’t happen.”