Some NJ legislators are pushing for a cap on the number of casinos and think that nine is already too many. But based on the increased gaming revenue that keeps rolling in months after month, Atlantic City seems to be doing just fine with nine.
Last month Atlantic City had its biggest October since 2011
October 2019 proved to be a great month in New Jersey for both brick and mortar and online gambling. According to the Division of Gambling Enforcement (DGE), total gaming revenue for the nine Atlantic City casinos reached $266.23 million, an increase of 13.5 percent compared to to October 2018. Online gambling (up 69%) and sports betting (up 170.7%) made a major contribution.
Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University, called these results the best October figures since 2011.
Furthermore, according to a Nov. 14 article on www.pressofatlanticcity.com, October wasn’t the only stellar month for Atlantic City casinos. 2019 marked the 17th consecutive month in which Atlantic City gaming revenue has increased.
Debra DiLorenzo, President and CEO of the Southern New Jersey Chamber of Commerce summed up the findings as follows:
“Atlantic City’s casinos have seen consistent growth almost across the board. October’s gaming revenue increases prove that Atlantic City is thriving, and we look forward to seeing this positive momentum drive jobs, tourism, and the economy.”
NJ sports betting keeps growing and growing
Betting on sports first became legal in New Jersey in June 2018. That was the same month when Atlantic City’s two newest casinos–Hard Rock and Ocean–opened. Since that time through October 2019, the amount of money wagered on sports in New Jersey has approached $3.5 billion. After paying the winners, the sportsbooks still collected $237 million in revenue.
So far in 2019 alone, the reported revenue from sports betting at Atlantic City casinos and their online/mobile gaming partners is just shy of $96 million.
85 percent of the sports bets being placed statewide are being placed online or through a mobile app.
According to Steve Callender, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, in recent months, New Jersey has taken over Nevada as the top sports betting state in the country. Callender feels confident that sports betting will continue to show “significant promise for the gaming industry” and “as we approach the end of this year that we will finish 2019 out in a strong position.”
Atlantic City casino gambling
In contrast to the huge revenue gains reported from sports betting and online gambling, the figures for casino gambling (revenue from slot machines and table games) look less impressive. The reported increase for October only amounted to 0.8 percent. Four Atlantic City casino properties—Bally’s, Golden Nugget, Resorts, and Tropicana– actually reported a smaller casino win last month than in October 2018.
The year-to-date reported casino win for the nine casinos combined is $2.254 billion. This is a 7.7% increase over the same period last year. However, individual casino gambling wins have decreased for all seven of the casinos that were open before Hard Rock and Ocean. In other words, the new casinos have indeed been taking away a share of their business.
Will total Atlantic City gaming revenue reach $3 billion in 2019? Probably.
On the other hand, sports betting, gambling online and through mobile apps, and the contributions of the two newest casinos continue to propel the total Atlantic City gaming revenue in an upward direction.
In 2019 to date, Atlantic City casinos have reported $2.73 billion in total gaming revenue. When the November and December figures are added, and both months should be huge for NJ sportsbooks, total gaming revenue for the year could indeed surpass $3 billion.
The last time the Atlantic City gambling industry registered more than $3 billion in gaming revenue was in 2012. Atlantic City had 12 casinos then but no online and mobile gambling and no legalized sports betting.