Visitor Numbers Down at Atlantic City Casinos While Online Gambling Soars

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While New Jersey online gambling market is going from strength to strength, recent figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) reveal that Atlantic City land casinos are yet to reach their pre-pandemic numbers.

The latest figures from the DGE show that in March, land and online casinos set a new monthly record by winning $197 million from customers playing casino games. It was also a good month for sports betting, with $1.33 billion worth of bets taken, the fourth-largest amount since the state legalized sports betting in 2018.

In total, more than $526 million was brought in from casino winnings (money won from players), internet gambling and sports betting revenue, an increase of 8.1% when compared to March 2023.

New Jersey is one of only seven states that allow both online and land-based games, such as online baccarat and slots.

Visitor Numbers Still Down

One of the most important metrics for casinos is the amount of money won from in-person gamblers, as they are able to keep the entire amount, whereas money won from players online is shared with others.

When looking at this metric, there is both good and bad news. The good news is that Atlantic City’s nine casinos won $239 million from in-person gamblers in March, an increase of 5% from March last year and slightly more than was won in March 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, just two of the city’s casinos won more in person last month than they did before the pandemic, suggesting that visitor numbers are still down.

Nonetheless, Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which focuses its research on the Atlantic City gambling market, said that gambling revenue got “off to a solid start” in Q1 2024 and was up 11% when compared to Q1 2023.

Comparing Casino Performance

In March, the Borgata made $56.5 million from in-person gamblers, an 8.1% decline from 2023. Hard Rock saw earnings of $44.3 million, an increase of 11%. Ocean’s revenue was $40.6 million, a rise of 17.6%. Harrah’s earned $21 million, an increase of 2%, and Tropicana made $19.8 million, a rise of 2.5%.

Caesars earned $18.5 million, an increase of nearly 8%. Golden Nugget made $13.6 million, a rise of 11.4%. Resorts earned $13.4 million, a growth of close to 6%, and Bally’s brought in $11.7 million, an increase of 11.2%.

Including internet and sports betting revenue, the Borgata earned $106.6 million, a 6.1% decrease from the previous year. Golden Nugget’s earnings reached $70.6 million, up 28.2%. Hard Rock made $58.3 million, a growth of 17.2%. Ocean made close to $48 million, an increase of over 21%, and Tropicana made $36 million, up 11.5%.

Harrah’s brought in $22.2 million, up 8%, Bally’s earned $20.9 million, up 20.6%, Caesars made $18.7 million, up 10.2%, and Resorts earned $13.6 million, an increase of 8.4%.

Resorts Digital, the online division of the casino, earned $66.4 million, a fall of 11%, and Caesars Interactive NJ made $6.4 million, a fall of 23%.

The casinos and racetracks retained just under $90 million in sports betting revenue after paying out winning bets and other expenses.

Slots Lead the Way

The figures also give an insight into player habits and it is clear that slots remain the player favorite.

Total land-based revenue in March was $239.8 million and of this, $172.7 million came from slot machines, while $67 million came from table games. It is a similar story online. Total online gambling revenue was $197.2 million, which was a new monthly record for the state and an increase of 19.4% from March last year. Of this, $194.8 million was generated by online slots, while internet poker revenue fell 5.4%.

However, while New Jersey online gambling market is currently thriving, operators are facing the possibility of a significant tax hike. At the beginning of April, New Jersey senator John McKeon introduced a bill that would increase tax for online gambling and sports betting to 30%. At present, they are taxed at 15% and 13% of gross gaming revenue, respectively.

Caroline Richardson
Caroline Richardson Read Bio
Hi all, I’m Caroline. I’m based in Boston, Massachusetts, with my husband and our three noisy and inquisitive kids. I began my career in journalism, working for several Boston-based....
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