A view of Atlantic City, N.J., in October. Two of the towering casinos in this photo, the Showboat (third tower from left) and the Revel (far right) closed last year.
New casinos are popping up all along the East Coast, giving Atlantic City a run for its money. Four casinos out of 12 in Atlantic City closed last year. But those closures have, in turn, helped the remaining gambling houses there.
Casino customers tend to be pretty loyal to one or two houses — to accrue rewards, or sometimes for other reasons.
"We like to bring the dog down once in a while because he likes to walk the boardwalk, go in the ocean," says Patty Davis. She and her husband travel more than six hours to gamble in Atlantic City.
The Davises used to go to the Showboat casino because its hotel allowed dogs. When it closed in September, the couple and their Pomeranian started going to Harrah's, because it allows dogs.
Many people have been taking their business to other casinos in the city since their usual haunts closed, which has meant better business for the places left standing.
Resorts, Atlantic City's oldest casino, still lost money in the first quarter of this year but a lot less than it did last year.
"We're certainly seeing the benefit of a smaller competitor base, so our revenues and our profitability continue to improve steadily," says Mark Giannantonio, president and CEO of Resorts.