By David Madden

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) – Quarterly profit numbers for Atlantic City’s 12 casinos are down…again, but officials are encouraged by trends outside of the gaming halls.

Collectively, the casinos earned over $65-million the second quarter, compared to almost $118-million the previous spring.

Matt Levinson (Credit: Casino Control Commission)

Matt Levinson (Credit: Casino Control Commission)

Casino Control Commission chairman Matt Levinson blames regional competition and the lingering after effects of Hurricane Sandy, but a few casinos were up. Then there’s the non-gaming side of the ledger.

“You have third party businesses in this town that rose almost 20% in the first half,” Levinson said. “That’s up more than $20-million. The luxury tax numbers that we have in this town is up 4% over the trailing 12 months.”

Levinson sees the openings of places like Margaritaville and events like the return of the Miss America Pageant as signs Atlantic City is morphing into a resort town that just happens to offer gambling.

That’s what helped turn Las Vegas around, although it did take years to pull off.

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