ATLANTIC CITY — The resort’s nine casino properties took in $299.8 million in total gaming revenue in July, a nearly 12 percent increase over the same month last year, when seven casinos reported $267.85 million.
July’s casino revenue numbers include the first full month of data reported to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement since Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino opened at the end of June. It is also the first full month of data for sports betting revenue, which commenced in Atlantic City on June 14.
Hard Rock reported total gaming revenue of $32.7 million last month, making it Atlantic City’s third-most profitable property. Ocean Resort’s total gaming revenue was $17 million, putting it at the bottom.
Bruce Deifik, owner and chairman of Ocean Resort, said he “couldn’t be more pleased” with the reported figures because unlike the property’s former occupant, Revel Casino Hotel, his new venture is EBITDA- (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and cash flow-positive.
“We have one direction that we’re heading, and that’s up,” Deifik said Tuesday.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa remained the Atlantic City market leader in July, reporting gaming revenue of $76.6 million. Tropicana Atlantic City is still the market’s second-highest grossing property, reporting revenue of $37 million. Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City’s $31.4 million was the fourth highest.
The seven casinos, excluding Golden Nugget, that were operational before Hard Rock and Ocean Resort opened saw decreases in total gaming revenue last month compared to July 2017.
Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton University, said revenue decreases in the existing properties were to be expected. But the nearly 12 percent growth across the entire market was encouraging for the future, he said.
“That clearly goes to show that it’s not just old revenue, there’s new revenue in there as well,” Pandit said.
July was the highest revenue-producing month for Atlantic City casinos in 2018, besting the previous year’s high of $231.36 million reported in June. Year-to-date, the Atlantic City casino industry has reported total gaming revenue of $1.558 billion, exactly where it was last year over the same period of time.
“Clearly the new casinos have added competition and it has been a good thing for visitors,” said James Plousis, chairman of the Casino Control Commission. “Market adjustments were expected and will continue as each casino works to attract new customers and build their market share.”
Internet gaming revenue continued to increase in July, accounting for just shy of $26 million, an increase of more than $3 million from June. Golden Nugget Atlantic City remained in the top spot for internet gambling revenue, reporting $9.3 million last month, a 49.3 percent increase over 2017. The casino hotel’s total gaming revenue for July was $29.4 million. Borgata reported increased internet revenue of 30.3 percent.
Steve Ruddock, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com, an online gaming advocacy group, said July’s revenue figures highlight the positive impact internet gambling is having on land-based casinos.
“Atlantic City casinos cracked 30,000 employees for the first time since 2014, proving once again that online gambling hasn’t cannibalized New Jersey’s land-based casinos,” Ruddock said. “Add more than $155 million in additional tax revenue that online gambling has generated since it began in 2013, and online gambling has proven to be an unqualified success.”
Ocean Resort reported the highest revenue from legalized sports betting, reporting just more than $1 million in July. Borgata reported $563,000 from sports wagers. Bally’s began taking sports bets at its Wild Wild West Casino on July 30 and reported $18,000 for two days.