A year ago, many people thought that nine casinos were too many for Atlantic City. Or they were concerned that the popularity of NJ online gambling would take a hit due to the competition from other states.
Now they are eating their words. The 2019 monthly revenue reports for brick and mortar and NJ online casinos alike consistently show increases, not decreases
August was a stellar month for both Atlantic City casinos and NJ online casinos
According to the latest figures from the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), total gaming revenue in the state amounted to $338.8 million. This represented an increase of 13 percent compared to the revenue for August, 2018.
Furthermore, August was the 15th consecutive month in which Atlantic City casinos showed an increase in gaming revenue.
According to James Plousis, chairman of the Casino Control Commission:
“These results show there is a great deal of customer interest in Atlantic City’s offerings, and operators have made strides adjusting in a competitive environment.”
Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University agreed and viewed the August revenue figures as a continuation of “an overall positive trend for Atlantic City.”
Pandit further commented:
“Overall, Atlantic City continues to demonstrate strong gaming revenues compared to 2018, indicating a consistent growth within its market segments and further strengthening its position as a premier destination resort on the East Coast.”
In fact, business was jumping at Atlantic City casinos all summer long
Largely due to the launch of NJ legalized sports betting on June 14, the summer of 2019 proved to be a strong follow-up to another very good season for Atlantic City the previous year. “One of the best summers in recent years for Atlantic City” according to Steve Callender, senior vice president of operations for the East Region of Eldorado Resorts, Inc. the parent company of Tropicana Atlantic City and president of the Casino Association of New Jersey.
As Callender pointed out:
“Casinos saw strong employment, visitation, and gaming revenue. Two great back-to-back summer seasons continue to demonstrate that the casino industry’s ongoing investment in Atlantic City’s transformation into a first-class resort and business conference destination has staying power.”
Eight of the nine Atlantic City-based casinos reported increased total gaming revenue in August
Total gaming revenue includes the amount a casino has taken in over a certain period of time from slots, table games, internet gaming, and sports betting combined. With the one exception of Harrah’s Resort, which registered a slight decline (0.9%) in August, total gaming revenue for August increased at each Atlantic City casino.
Borgata reported its best August and best summer ever
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa led the way, generating nearly $80 million in total gaming revenue during the month of August alone. A spokesman for the casino called the summer of 2019 the best in the entire 16-year history of the property.
Marcus Glover, president and COO of the property, stated that Borgata was “looking forward to continuing the momentum in the fall.”
“We are thrilled with the record-breaking success Borgata has experienced throughout the summer. Bolstered y significant capital expenditure, strategic gaming promotions, and unparalleled guest service displayed by our team members, Borgata enjoyed its highest three-month stretch of gross gaming revenue in the property’s 16-year history.”
But not about to rest on its laurels, only two months after unveiling the Moneyline Bar and Book, its new sports betting facility adjacent to the Borgata Race & Sports Book, Borgata announced a brand new $14 million renovation. This one will involve the hotel lobby and 312 suites. The lobby makeover will include a VIP check-in area, bar serving cocktails and tapas, coffee service, three large-screen TVs, and on weekends, a piano bar.
August, 2019 was the best month for Ocean Casino Resort, too
Ocean Casino Resort, which had been struggling during its first months of existence, seems to have found new life since Luxor Capital took over ownership of the property early this year. According to Ocean’s chief marketing officer and senior vice president Mike Donovan:
“August was the best performing month in the property’s history; highest gross gaming revenue, slot revenue, hotel revenue and nongaming revenues. We continue to see strong volumes, highlighted by a 42% increase in our slot business over the prior year.”
Gross gaming revenue for 2019 thus far (January – August) at the resort amounts to $2.18 billion, representing a 17.6 percent increase from 2018.
August, 2019 was also a record month for NJ online casinos
The August revenue figures for NJ online casinos are as impressive as those reported by the Atlantic City casinos. Total online gaming revenue for the month totaled a whopping $41.1 million. This was the first time in the entire history of NJ online casino gambling since its November 26, 2013 inception that revenue topped the $40 million mark.
As usual, Golden Nugget and its online affiliates led the way, generating just short of $15 million in revenue, an increase of 84 percent compared to August, 2018.
Sports betting was a big contributor
Legalized sports betting accounted for $11.26 million, or 27 percent of the $41.1 million total and a 115 percent increase over August, 2018.
DraftKings, a NJ online casino partner with Resorts Casino Hotel, generated nearly $6.7 million in sports betting revenue in August.
Sports betting will make September an even bigger month for NJ online casinos
According to Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayNJ.com:
“New Jersey has successfully managed to shrug off competition and continue to grow and at a faster rate than initially expected.
With new operators launching in September and the NFL season in full swing, New Jersey’s upward trajectory should continue, even as neighboring Pennsylvania expands online sports betting.”
Steve Ruddock, content director at BettingUSA.com, concurs and calls the addition of sports betting a “boon” for NJ online casinos and a major reason for the recent upsurge in revenue.
“Revenue has surged to unprecedented levels over the last year, and that growth can be directly linked to can be directly linked to online sports betting.”