Atlantic City Casino Revenue In The Black For February, Thanks Again To Online Gambling

January 22, 2019 890 Reads
AC revenue February2017
Fueled by strong performances from Golden NuggetTropicana, Resorts and the NJ online gambling industry, Atlantic City casino revenue showed a minor uptick in February, continuing upon what’s becoming a prolonged growth trend for the boardwalk city.

AC casino revenue for February: The big picture

The latest revenue report from the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement all but confirms that last year’s growth was no fluke. In February 2017, industry revenue climbed to $205.4 million, representing a 0.32 percent uptick over the same month last year, when AC generated $204.7 million in casino revenue.

Admittedly, this may not seem like a significant gain, but there are two variables at play that brighten the picture. For one, Atlantic City consists of one less casino than it did last year, as Trump Taj Mahal shuttered its doors in October. Last February, Taj accounted for 5.91 percent of industry revenue.

Furthermore, last February was one day longer. On a daily basis, AC revenue grew more along the lines of 3.9 percent.

Taken together, this means that the city’s remaining seven casinos, combined with the NJ online gambling industry, have more than compensated for the loss of the Taj.

On another positive note, total industry revenue for February was up 0.34 percent over January, despite January’s longer length by three days, including one extra weekend day.

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Online gambling turns a negative into a positive…again

As was the case for 2016, Atlantic City would have not shown a year-over-year profit if it wasn’t for the explosive growth of NJ gambling websites. Collectively, AC’s land-based casinos generated $186.6 million in February, compared to $189 million last year, reflecting a 1.75 percent decline.

By contrast, online revenue was up a rather staggering 26.9 percent, climbing from $14.8 million in February 2016 to $18.7 million last month.That proved just enough to push total industry revenue into the black.

Notably, February marked the first time that AC casinos generated less than ten times the revenue as the state’s online casino and poker sites. Online gambling has proven particularly beneficial to Atlantic City during the cold winter months, when land-based revenue tends to bottom out due to reduced tourism. Online gambling spikes because residents engage in more indoor activities.

Winners and losers for February

Caesars NJ online may have stolen the spotlight in January, but it was two unlikely heroes that paved the way for February’s growth: Tropicana and Resorts.

  • Tropicana was the biggest gainer, with year-over-year revenue climbing 28.1 percent. The casino also fared well on the online front, as revenue climbed 6.6 percent — although that figure lagged behind the online gambling industry as a unit.
  • Resorts clocked in as the second biggest mover, as revenue rose 21.3 percent to $15.1 million. Also worth noting is that Resorts’ revenue increased 18.1 percent over January, most among Atlantic City casinos.
  • Three other casinos were in the black: Caesars (+0.87 percent), Golden Nugget (+5.02 percent), and Harrah’s (0.55 percent). Golden Nugget made monumental strides on the online gambling side, becoming the first individual operator to take in over $5 million ($5,175,795 to be exact). The industry leader’s revenue was up a staggering 66 percent over last February.
  • After generating over $60 million in January, Borgata revenue slipped to $58.2 million, down 0.7 percent year-over-year. Borgata still accounted for over 31 percent of total land-based revenue, however.Image credit: Racheal Grazias / Shutterstock.com
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