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Sports betting, online gaming boost Atlantic City casinos in October

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ATLANTIC CITY — Casino gaming revenue continued to increase in October, with the resort’s nine properties reporting a nearly 14% jump over last year.

According to figures released Thursday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, total gaming revenue for Atlantic City casinos increased 13.6% last month compared to the same period in 2018. Strong gains from online gaming (+69%) and sports betting (+170.7%) pushed total revenue to $266.23 million in October.

Year to date, Atlantic City casinos have reported $2.73 billion in total gaming revenue, putting the $3 billion annual benchmark within reach. The last time the industry eclipsed $3 billion in gaming revenue was 2012, when there were 12 casinos in Atlantic City and online gaming and sports betting had not yet been introduced.

Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University, noted that last month’s reported revenue was the highest for the month of October since 2011.

“October revenue increases demonstrate the ‘shoulder season’ is growing the gaming market for Atlantic City — a positive indicator indeed,” Pandit said.

Total gaming revenue in Atlantic City has increased for 17 consecutive months, dating to June 2018, when Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort both opened.

“Atlantic City’s casinos have seen consistent growth almost across the board,” said Debra DiLorenzo, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey. “October’s gaming revenue increases prove that Atlantic City is thriving, and we look forward to seeing this positive momentum drive jobs, tourism and the economy.”

Sports betting continues to be a revenue driver for Atlantic City casinos and their online/mobile gaming partners, accounting for $18.76 million, or 7%, of the monthly total.

Statewide, sports bettors placed more than $487.9 million in legal wagers, with 85% of those bets done either online or via a mobile app. Through October, nearly $3.5 billion has been wagered on sports in New Jersey, resulting in $237 million in revenue for sports books. Atlantic City’s casino sports books and online betting partners have reported just shy of $96 million in revenue in 2019.

“New Jersey sports books have surpassed Nevada’s in recent months, and it continues to show significant promise for the gaming industry,” 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. “We are optimistic as we approach the end of this year that we will finish 2019 out in a strong position.”

Internet gaming revenue in October was $45.2 million, or 16.9% of total gaming revenue.

Casino win — revenue from slot machines and table games — increased by 0.8%, accounting for $202.26 million. Four properties — Bally’s Atlantic City, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Resorts Casino Hotel and Tropicana Atlantic City — reported less casino win last month than in October 2018.

Year-to-date, casino win is up 7.7%, with the resort’s nine properties reporting $2.254 billion. Casino win is down for all seven of the casinos that were open prior to the arrival of Hard Rock and Ocean.

Contact: 609-272-7222

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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