In October, the Trump Taj Mahal shut its doors to Atlantic City gamblers, marking the seaside resort’s fifth casino closure in recent years.
The recent revenue numbers from the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement were down for land-based casinos, factoring in the Taj Mahal’s short month. But there were also good signs for both brick-and-mortar gaming establishments and New Jersey gambling websites.
NJ casino revenue, and online gambling gains
Discounting the figures from the Taj Mahal, the remaining seven casinos in Atlantic City managed to increase their land-based revenue by 4.2 percent year over year for October, to $185.5 million. With the Taj included, land-based revenue decreased 2.7 percent compared to October 2015.
Online gambling revenue, meanwhile, continues to show increases YoY, up 29 percent from October 2015 ($12.8 million to $16.7 million).
The influx in online gambling revenue counteracted the overall losses in casino revenue, bringing the total casino revenue decrease down to a manageable 0.7 percent.
For the second month in a row, the Golden Nugget came in as the NJ online gambling industry’s top earner, with $4.1 million for the month. That beat out the Borgata, which was able to bring in $3.7 million in October earnings.
NJ casino revenue for all of 2016
To date, online gambling revenue increased an astounding 32.5 percent to $161.2 million compared to the the first 10 months of 2015. That puts the state’s iGaming revenue well on track for a record-breaking year.
For land-based casinos, revenue for the entire year is relatively flat: $2.036 billion as compared to $2.046 billion in the prior period. That’s a decrease of just 0.5 percent. But when online gambling is taken into account, total gaming revenue climbs to $2.071 billion, up 3.1 percent over last year.
The total gaming taxes for October came in at $16 million, which reflects eight percent of taxable casino gross revenue and 15 percent of online gaming gross revenue.
No North Jersey casinos to worry about, and AC’s future
The referendum to expand gambling into North Jersey failed by an overwhelming majority on Nov. 8. That means there won’t be any new competition for AC casinos.
Meanwhile, the state took control of Atlantic City’s government, which has had problems in meeting its financial obligations.
A measure of stability is offered by the failed ballot measure and the state takeover of AC. Many hope the closure of the Trump Taj Mahal means the land-based casino industry has found its floor. Along with the continued success of online gambling, there is reason to believe that brighter days are ahead for the casino town.