Industry Reports

Atlantic City Casinos Post 5.1% Revenue Decline in May, Online Gambling up 15.3%

In the past few months, Atlantic City casinos have seen a drop in revenues from last year and the negative trend continues for the month of May, the latest statistics reveal. New Jersey’s gambling industry generated $217.6 million in total gaming win last month, a decline of 5.1 per cent over the same period in 2017. Despite that, online gambling continues to grow, with revenues up 15.3 per cent compared to last year.

This week’s announcement regarding sports bets in Atlantic City comes right on time as the city’s casinos continue to see decreasing revenues. On Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that authorizes the offering of sports betting services at licensed gaming facilities. Shortly after the legalization of sports wagering in New Jersey, the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement published the gaming revenue results for the month of May. According to the figures, which are based on financial reports filed by the state’s seven casinos, the industry’s total gaming win was $217.6 in May. In comparison, the industry generated $214.4 million in April and $229.4 million in a total win in May 2017, which means last month, it dropped 5.1 per cent from last year.

The casino win, which refers to the revenue from land-based gaming operations, was $193.4 million last month. This is a decrease of 7.2 per cent from May 2017 when the winnings were $208.3 million. The other segment, however, experienced growth – despite still accounting for just a small portion of all gaming revenue, Internet gaming saw an increase of 15.3 per cent from the same period last year. Atlantic City casinos won $24.3 million from online gambling in May, compared to only $21.1 million in May 2017. James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, explained that the negative trend is simply a result of the unusually high revenues generated by casinos last year.

According to him and other analysts, New Jersey’s gaming industry is, in fact, recovering slowly after the recession and the competition from new casinos in neighbouring states. This led to the closure of five casinos. However, the recovery of the market may not as straightforward as some expect, considering two new properties are slated for grand opening this month, namely Hard Rock Casino & Hotel Atlantic City (formerly Trump Taj Mahal) and Ocean Resort Casino (previously known as the Revel). It is also interesting to see how the introduction of sports betting would impact the market in the coming months.

Golden Nugget, Tropicana Remain Atlantic City’s Most Rapidly Growing Casinos

Three of the seven casinos in Atlantic City saw increases in their total gaming win. One of the most successful ones is the Golden Nugget, which generated $28.3 million in May, a 15.2 per cent increase from the same period last year. The other two properties reporting growth in total gaming revenue are Tropicana, which generated $34.3 million (up 4.5%), and Resorts, which won $15.5 million (up 1.2%).

Golden Nugget’s online operations are the main driver behind the growth in Internet gaming. The casino won $8.6 million from online gambling in May, reporting a dramatic increase in revenues of 45.4 per cent from May 2017. Borgata also saw increasing winnings from its online operations last month, generating $4.58 million (up 31%). Its revenues from brick-and-mortar operations, however, dropped 10.1 per cent from the same period last year to $61.4 million. Still, Borgata remains the casino with the highest revenues in Atlantic City.

The decline in the gaming win for Caesars is quite significant at 24.3 per cent – last month, it generated $22.3 million in revenues compared to $29.4 million in May 2017. Harrah’s won $27.5 million, down 7.1 per cent from the same period last year.