If any doubt still existed that the Atlantic City casinos are making a comeback, one look at the latest report from the Division of Gambling Enforcement (DGE) would dispel that notion immediately.
As reported in a July 16, 2021 PressofAtlanticCity.com article, June 2021 was the best month ever for Atlantic City casinos, as their gross gambling revenue topped $345 million, setting a new monthly record!
Moreover, that figure does not include the money won on sports betting at the three NJ racetracks with sportsbooks (the Meadowlands, Monmouth, and Freehold). When the additional revenue from the NJ racetracks’ sportsbooks is added to the equation, the total for June increases to nearly $393 million.
Atlantic City casinos not only won 4x as much in June 2021 as in June 2020 but $100 million more than in June 2019
In June 2020, when all nine Atlantic City casinos were still closed due to the coronavirus, their combined gross revenue was only $97.6 million. Virtually all of that money came from NJ online casinos along with a small amount from sports betting but zero from the brick-and-mortar casinos.
So, a more meaningful comparison would be with June 2019, before the pandemic hit and impacted the gambling industry in a big way. In June 2019, the nine NJ casinos and racetracks won $278 million, which was also significantly below the June 2021 figure.
In fact, before last month’s new record was set, we have to go all the way back to July 2011, when the old record of $340.5 million was established.
On the other hand, the gross gambling revenue that the Atlantic City casinos reported for May 2021 reached $337.2 million. So, while it was not record-breaking, it came close. Furthermore, according to James Plousis, chairman of the NJ Casino Control Commission, casino revenue growth during the three-month period of April, May, and June 2021 was 20 percent higher than for the same three-month period in 2019.
Plousis also noted that “visitation to Atlantic City is on the rise, tourists are happy to be coming back, and the summer is off to a positive start.”
Which Atlantic City casinos produced the most revenue in June 2021?
The table shown below lists the gross gambling revenue reported by each Atlantic City casino individually. One interesting finding, comparing the June 2021 figures with those for both May 2021 and June 2019 is that the same two top-performing casinos have consistently retained their first and second place positions. Unsurprisingly, Borgata continues to lead the way, with no other casino coming close to matching it. However, the casino in second place is Hard Rock, despite only being on the scene in Atlantic City for three years. Ocean Casino Resort, which opened on the same day as Hard Rock, is also enjoying tremendous success.
On the other hand, Bally’s, which was recently sold to Twin River Holdings and is undergoing many changes, came in last.
June 2021 Revenue Reported by Each Atlantic City Casino
Casino or Affiliate
|Atlantic City Casino Win||Internet Gaming Win||Sports Betting Revenue||Total Gaming Revenue|
|GN Online Gambling||NA||$27,600,158||$80,615||$27,680,773|
Gamblers are returning to AC in droves, and the casinos couldn’t be more pleased
The summer, starting in June, is traditionally by far the most profitable time of year for the Atlantic City casinos. So this year was a test to see if a return to pre-pandemic turnouts looks promising. And so far, the results not only have not disappointed but have exceeded expectations.
Here is what the top executives at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Ocean Casino Resort had to say on the subject:
Joe Lupo, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City:
“We are encouraged by this momentum, which speaks to the comfort of visitors returning to the Jersey Shore this summer to enjoy premier gaming, hospitality, and entertainment.”
Terry Glebocki, CEO of Ocean Casino Resort:
“The elimination of COVID restrictions and the return to normalcy bode well for us.”
Internet gaming remains a popular option, too
My June 2, 2021 article for NJ Online Casino entitled “How Will NJ Online Casinos Fare Now That AC Casinos Are Fully Open” offered multiple reasons why, in my opinion, they would continue to do very well. So far, that prediction is holding up nicely. The dramatic increase in in-person gambling has not produced any appreciable decline in online revenue.
On the contrary, total internet gambling revenue for June 2021 amounted to $107 million, an increase of more than 26 percent compared to June 2020 when the land-based casinos were closed. June also marked the fifth consecutive month in which online gambling revenue exceeded $100 million.
However, June also marked the fourth month in a row that the top-performing NJ online casino was Borgata, rather than the long-time leader, Golden Nugget. For now, at least Golden Nugget Online Gambling continues to occupy second place, but Resorts Digital, in third place, is not far behind.
June sports betting revenue
According to The Press of Atlantic City, during June 2021, the NJ sportsbooks took in $766 million in sports bets. After expenses and paying the winners, their net profit was $71.2 million.
The biggest sports betting revenue producer by far was DraftKings online sportsbook affiliated with Resorts.
Summary and Conclusion
June 2021 was a good month across the board not only for online gambling and sports betting but also for in-person gambling at the Atlantic City casinos. This trend should continue throughout the summer.
However, visitors to Atlantic City should not let their guard down because, despite the restoral to 100% capacity and lifting of virtually all restrictions, the virus has not gone away. Barring any major outbreak and an accompanying renewed fear of future vulnerability, this summer should be an excellent opportunity for the Atlantic City casinos and the nearby community to bounce back.