By David Madden

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — 2012 was another “down” year for Atlantic City’s casinos.  But one analyst suggests there are signs that things could bottom out soon and there could even be a turnaround this year.

The “win” — that is, the revenue the casinos take in — dropped eight percent in the year gone by, to just over $3 billion, according to figures released today by New Jersey gaming officials.  It’s the sixth straight year of decline.

Roger Gros, with Global Gaming Business magazine, says the overall drop would have been far less were it not for Hurricane Sandy.

“We would have seen a decline in yearly revenue that would have been between two and four percent, given the normal figures,” he told KYW Newsradio today.

Regional competition, of course, and the overall economy didn’t help either.  Nor did Revel, the new kid on the block, which opened in April but has been stuck near the bottom of the city’s casinos in terms of revenue (see related story).

The citywide casino revenue drop was smaller from November to December than earlier in 2012, leading Gros to believe the downward trend could end soon.  October to November showed the largest decline ever.

Besides, Gros points out, the casino-hotels are seeing growth on the non-gaming side of operations.

The all-time high for Atlantic City came in 2006, when the casinos raked in $5.2 billion.

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