ATLANTIC CITY — The double-digit percentage increases for monthly casino gaming revenue stopped in July, but the market was still up compared to the prior year.
Total gaming revenue for Atlantic City’s nine casino properties was $323.3 million in July, an increase of 7.8% over last summer, according to figures released Wednesday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. Year-to-date gaming revenue for Atlantic City casinos is $1.85 billion, an increase of 18.4% over the first seven months of 2018.
Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University, said July continued a “positive growth trend” for Atlantic City.
“Clearly, not only is the pie continuing to grow, the slices are getting larger as well,” Pandit said, noting gaming revenue increases for a majority of the individual properties in Atlantic City.
July is the first monthly revenue release from state gaming regulators that equally compares an Atlantic City market with nine operational properties and the addition of legalized sports betting since the June 27, 2018, dual openings of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort.
July broke a 13-month streak of double-digit percentage increases in total gaming revenue for the market that began in June 2018.
“July provided the first opportunity to compare year-over-year results in Atlantic City’s nine-casino market, and those results confirm the market has grown,” said James Plousis, chairman of the Casino Control Commission. “It is clear the increase in competition has led to market adjustments while providing new and exciting options for gaming and leisure visitors to explore.”
Five of the nine casinos — Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Hard Rock, Ocean and Resorts Casino Hotel — reported increases in total gaming revenue for the month compared to last summer.
The remaining four properties — Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Tropicana Atlantic City — are operated by two gaming companies, Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Eldorado Resorts Inc., that are in the midst of a $17.3 billion merger. The four properties are the only casinos in the city to report year-to-date declines in total gaming revenue.
Borgata continued its reign as the highest-revenue generating property in the market with a reported $88 million in total gaming revenue, which was the best overall month in the casino’s 16-year history. More than $31.8 million of that was revenue from table games, also a monthly record for Borgata.
Hard Rock, which spent more than $500 million renovating the former Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, was second in the market in total gaming revenue last month. The casino reported nearly $40.8 million in total gaming revenue in July, an increase of 24.6% compared to its first full month of operation last summer.
“We are very happy with our growth in the market being (number two) in casino revenue for the third consecutive month and are extremely pleased to see increased visitation month over month,” said Joe Lupo, property president of Hard Rock.
Golden Nugget, bolstered by market-dominating online gaming figures, was third in total gaming revenue, reporting just under $35 million for the month. Nearly $14.9 million of the casino’s 17.4% overall monthly growth came from online gaming. The property did, however, report a 3.3% drop in casino win, which is the combined revenue from table games and slot machines.
Total online gaming revenue for Atlantic City casinos in July was $39.3 million, an increase of nearly 52% compared to 2018. Year to date, internet gaming generated more than $256.77 million, an increase of 55.2% over the same period last year.
Tropicana ($32.9 million), Caesars ($29.9 million) and Harrah’s ($29.8 million) rounded out the middle-of-the-market properties, despite reporting monthly declines in July.
Resorts, like Golden Nugget, reported a monthly increase in total gaming revenue ($28.75 million) of 24% but a slight decline in casino win (1.3%). Resorts’ table game revenue was up more than 30%, but slot revenue decreased by 7.7%.
Ocean, now under control by New York-based hedge fund Luxor Capital Group, reported total gaming revenue of $20.17 million in July, an increase of 18% from its first full month of operation last year.
“We are very pleased with the continued profitability and growth of the property,” said Mike Donovan, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Ocean. “July was the highest gross slot revenue in Ocean’s history. July was also the highest net slot revenue and (hotel) occupancy in the property’s history, including Revel (2012-14). Thanks to our management team and employees, we continue to build momentum.”
Bally’s reported total gaming revenue of $18.25 million in July, a decrease of 11.3% compared to last year.
More than $251.3 million was wagered on sports statewide in July, of which more than $213 million was done online or via mobile. The amount wagered on sports includes all bets placed at the eight Atlantic City casino sportsbooks and two racetrack sportsbooks at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park.
Overall, sports betting generated $6.82 million in revenue for the casinos and $17.88 million statewide. Year to date, Atlantic City casinos and their online/mobile sports betting partners have generated more than $48 million in revenue. Statewide, sports betting has generated $127.5 million in revenue.