Atlantic City Skyline

ATLANTIC CITY — Online gaming and sports betting contributed heavily to a double-digit percentage increase in gaming revenue for the city’s nine casinos last month.

Total gaming revenue was $338.8 million, an increase of 13%, in August compared to the same month last year, according to figures released Thursday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. This summer’s total gaming revenue was up 11.6% over the same three-month period in 2018.

“These results show there is a great deal of customer interest in Atlantic City’s offerings, and operators have made strides adjusting in a competitive environment,” said James Plousis, chairman of the Casino Control Commission.

August was the 15th consecutive month of gaming revenue increases for Atlantic City casinos.

Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University, said the monthly revenue results were continuing “an overall positive trend for Atlantic City.”

“Overall, Atlantic City continues to demonstrate strong gaming revenues compared to 2018, indicating a consistent growth within its market segments and further strengthening its position as a premier destination resort on the East Coast,” Pandit said.

Steve Callender, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey and senior vice president of operations for the East Region of Tropicana Atlantic City’s parent company, Eldorado Resorts Inc., said 2019 was a strong follow-up to 2018, which saw the opening of two casinos and the launch of legalized sports betting in the resort.

“The summer of 2019 was the one of the best summers in recent years for Atlantic City,” Callender said. “Casinos saw strong employment, visitation and gaming revenue. Two great back-to-back summer seasons continue to demonstrate that the casino industry’s ongoing investment in Atlantic City’s transformation into a first-class resort and business conference destination has staying power.”

Online gaming revenue was $41.1 million in August, the first time the amenity has topped the $40 million mark in a month since internet betting was legalized in 2013. Golden Nugget Atlantic City and its online partners, including BetFair Casino, continued to be the market leaders in internet gaming, generating just shy of $15 million in revenue last month, an increase of nearly 84%.

Sports betting — which has only been legal in New Jersey since June 2018 — accounted for $11.26 million in revenue last month, an increase of 115% over August 2018.

“New Jersey has successfully managed to shrug off competition and continue to grow, and at a faster rate than initially expected,” said Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayNJ.com. “With new operators launching in September and the NFL season in full swing, New Jersey’s upward trajectory should continue, even as neighboring Pennsylvania expands online sports betting.”

Nearly $6.7 million of the sports betting revenue generated by Atlantic City casinos came from DraftKings, an online partner with Resorts Casino Hotel.

“The addition of sports betting has been a boon for New Jersey online casinos. Revenue has surged to unprecedented levels over the last year, and that growth can be directly linked to online sports betting,” said Steve Ruddock, content director at BettingUSA.com.

Eight of the nine Atlantic City casinos reported increases in total gaming revenue — which includes revenue from table games, slot machines, internet gaming and sports betting — with the lone exception being Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, which had a slight decline (0.9%) of $299,251 in August.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa generated nearly $80 million in total gaming revenue last month, including a record-setting period of slot machine win. Borgata officials said summer 2019 was the best in the property’s 16-year history.

Marcus Glover, president and chief operating officer of Borgata, said the market-leading property was “looking forward to continuing the momentum into the fall.”

“We are thrilled with the record-breaking success Borgata has experienced throughout the summer,” Glover said. “Bolstered by significant capital expenditure, strategic gaming promotions and unparalleled guest service displayed by our team members, Borgata enjoyed its highest three-month stretch of gross gaming revenue in the property’s 16-year history.”

Ocean Casino Resort also had a record-setting month in August, besting numbers reported by the property’s previous incarnation, Revel Casino Hotel.

“August was the best performing month in the property’s history; highest gross gaming revenue, slot revenue, hotel revenue and nongaming revenues,” said Mike Donovan, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Ocean. “We continue to see strong volumes, highlighted by a 42% increase in our slot business over prior year.”

Year-to-date gaming revenue in the resort is $2.18 billion, an increase of 17.6% over the first eight months of 2018.

Contact: 609-272-7222

ddanzis@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressDanzis



Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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