ATLANTIC CITY — Casino gaming revenue continued to surge in the first month of 2019 with a reported increase of nearly 20 percent bolstered by online and in-house gains, according to figures released Wednesday by state regulators.
Atlantic City’s nine casino properties reported $220.6 million in total gaming revenue in January, according to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. The figure represents a 19.7 percent increase compared to the first month of 2018, when seven operational properties reported $184.3 million in total gaming revenue.
“Atlantic City held its own in January, a month when gaming figures have traditionally dropped off in the resort,” said James Plousis, chairman of the Casino Control Commission. “The figures seem to be a good first chapter for Atlantic City’s 2019 gaming story.”
January 2019 marked the eighth straight month of growth for the Atlantic City casino industry and seventh consecutive month of double-digit percentage increases in total gaming revenue.
“2019 is off to a solid start for Atlantic City,” said Kevin Ortzman, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey and regional president of Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s three Atlantic City properties. “With increases across the board in casino, sports betting and online gaming revenue last month, along with strong employment numbers at the end of 2018, we look forward to making 2019 another positive year.”
Internet gaming continued its massive growth in the Garden State, reporting a 53 percent increase over January 2018. Golden Nugget Atlantic City maintained its dominance of the internet gaming market, reporting revenue of nearly $12.2 million of the total industry’s $33.6 million.
“New Jersey’s online gambling industry grew nearly 22 percent in 2018 and has grown 50 percent since 2016, and that growth will continue,” said Steve Ruddock, lead online gambling analyst for PlayNJ.com. “There are some concrete reasons why. Two new casinos opened in 2018 with online gaming, Atlantic City’s revitalization efforts continue to pay off, the popularity of live-dealer games that have added to an already robust portfolio of online casino games, and the legalization and launch of New Jersey sports betting.”
Sports betting also helped boost the Atlantic City casino industry, accounting for $9.75 million in revenue last month. The William Hill Sportsbook at Ocean Resort Casino reported the most revenue, $1.27 million, from an Atlantic City brick-and-mortar location, while DraftKings, through its partnership with Resorts Casino Hotel, reported nearly $6.9 million in revenue from online or mobile bets.
January was the third-highest sports betting revenue producing month for the industry, behind September ($14.5 million) and October ($11.5 million), since the gaming amenity was launched statewide in June.
Last month’s sports betting results follow news of a slightly underwhelming Super Bowl performance in February, which ended with a $4.5 million loss for New Jersey’s sportsbooks on bets placed that were just short of $35 million, according to the experts at PlayNJ.com.
“Super Bowl betting didn’t quite reach expectations, but there were definitely some positives,” said Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayNJ.com. “The NFL playoffs generated significant action in January, and anecdotal evidence suggests visitation to Atlantic City for the weekend of the Super Bowl was way up. All in all, it was a successful first season of the NFL for New Jersey’s sportsbooks.”
The total amount of sport wagers placed in January was a record-breaking $385 million, which includes bets placed at an Atlantic City casino, the two licensed racetracks (Monmouth Park Racetrack and Meadowlands Racetrack) and through online or mobile platforms. Online sports betting accounted for nearly 80 percent, or about $305 million, of all wagers placed in New Jersey in January, according to the DGE report.
Casino win, revenue reported from table and slot games, also increased in January compared to last year. The nearly $177.3 million represented a 9.2 percent increase over the same month last year. However, six of the seven properties that were operating in January last year before Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Resort opened in June reported decreases in casino win. Only Resorts reported an increase in table and slot revenue, at 8.8 percent.