The Heyday of Atlantic City Marketing Alliance May Be Over

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The Heyday of Atlantic City Marketing Alliance May Be OverAccording to Press of Atlantic City, casino executives who sit on the board of the casino-funded marketing group Atlantic City Alliance have asked the state legislature to abolish the organization to save $30 million annually and trim costs during the ongoing economic struggles facing the New Jersey gaming market.

Formed three years ago as part of an alliance between government and the casino industry to help revitalize the economy, currently 8 casinos contribute to the ACA’s $30 million annual budget (based on a percentage of their gross gaming revenue). However, at the start of the year there were 12 casinos sharing the funding. Borgata, the city’s top-grossing property, pays $7.5 million annually while Golden Nugget pays $2 million, which may increase as casinos struggle to stay open.

Tom Pohlman, general manager of Golden Nugget Atlantic City, said  that while “we felt the ACA did a good job given the tough environment they operate in, $30 million is tough to pay when revenue is in decline and your clients are going to other markets.”

Tom Balance, ACA’s chairman, largely agrees, adding that the ACA’s funding must be redeployed to help the casinos meet a total of $175-180 million in alternative tax payments and redevelopment taxes proposed by a governor’s advisory commission.

Although many want the alliance abolished, Tony Rodio, president and CEO of Tropicana Casino and Resort, suggested that the legislature give the casinos the option to decide the budget on a case-by-case basis instead of mandating $30 million.

All told, Ballance, Pohlman and Rodio praised ACA president Liza Cartmell and her staff for their efforts to promote the city and draw more tourists to town.

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