Atlantic City Casinos On The Rebound

atlantic-cityWith five of Atlantic City’s twelve casinos having been closed since 2014, the former East Coast gambling hub has looked more and more like a patient on life-support. And with extensive lobbying this past year for three new casinos to be built in North Jersey, many people were starting to write off Atlantic City as a casino gambling destination.But then, a glimmer of hope arrived when New Jersey voters defeated a referendum in November that would have allowed a constitutional amendment that would pave the way for the construction of the new casinos.

And now, some good news for Atlantic City. For the first time in a decade, Atlantic City casinos have posted an annual gaming revenue gain. The credit for that gain is mostly due to the casino’s online gambling operations. But hey, a gain is a gain.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released figures on January 12, 2017 showing brick and mortar casino gaming revenue of $189.7m for December 2016, which represented a 6.8% gain over December 2015. State licensed online gambling sites accounted for $18.4m which increased the year-on-year gain to 8.6%.

The gaming figures for December were attributed to a strong showing at Atlantic City’s gaming tables which recorded revenue of $58.4m for a 22.8% increase. Slots accounted for $131.3m for a 1% gain. All seven of Atlantic City’s remaining casinos were in positive territory, with Borgata leading the way, reporting revenue of $57.1m for a 3.7% year-on-year increase. Caesars showed the largest increase at 32.6% on revenue of $29.7m. The Tropicana and Golden Nugget also did well with double digit gains of 27% and 25%.

Matt Levinson, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, said that New Year’s Eve falling on a Saturday night contributed strongly to the increased December revenue figures. He commented that the increased revenue numbers were a hopeful sign that Atlantic City was “entering a stable environment now.”

Online gambling revenue was definitely a factor for the turn-around in gaming revenue. For the first time in ten years, Atlantic City showed a year-on-year increase. For 2016, brick and mortar casinos generated $2.406b, which was actually a decline of 0.3% from 2015’s totals. But when adding in the $196.7m generated by state-licensed online gambling sites for a total of $2.602b, Atlantic City casinos had a 1.5% increase.

so much competition from new casinos across the northeastern U.S., it is pretty much an impossibility for Atlantic City to ever repeat it’s heyday in 2006, when gaming revenue peaked at $5.2b. But even though a 1.5% increase may seem like a baby step, after ten years of falling revenue, any increase on the right side of the ledger is positive news.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *