Although still down slightly, results suggest the market has begun leveling off

Gaming revenue in Atlantic City declined less than 1 percent in April to nearly snap a downward slide that goes all the way back to the summer of 2008.

A report in The Press of Atlantic City, citing N.J. Casino Control Commission numbers, said the 11 casino hotels took in $311.5 million from the slot machines and gaming tables, a decrease of only 0.7 percent compared to April 2009, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission reported.

Revenue in the nation’s second-largest casino market has declined every month since August 2008, or 20 straight months.

However, April’s results suggest the market has begun leveling off following a dreary winter of record snowfall and drenching rains. December’s revenue was down 9.8 percent, followed by an 8.5 percent decline in January, a 15.7 percent plunge in February and a 5.6 percent decrease in March.

Table games were April’s biggest highlight, up 2.9 percent to $95.6 million.

Combined, the casinos are down 7.6 percent through the first four months of the year. So far in 2010, they have won $1.17 billion from gamblers, compared to $1.26 billion for the same period a year ago.

The sluggish economy and competition from slot parlors in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York continue to drive down Atlantic City’s revenue.