Atlantic City Casino Revenue Surges 22.5 Percent in May, Hard Rock Gains Market Share

Posted on: June 13, 2019, 08:29h. 

Last updated on: June 13, 2019, 08:29h.

Atlantic City casinos won $266.76 million last month from their land-based, online, and sports betting operations. That’s 22.5 percent more than the gaming operators collected in May of 2018.

Atlantic City casino revenue New Jersey
The overall Atlantic City casino market is alive and well. (Image: Devin O’Connor/

The industry had two more casinos this year. Hard Rock and Ocean Casino Resort opened this month a year ago. The casinos were also armed with sports betting, which delivered a $5.5 million win.

The market’s momentum is pointing toward a great summer,” Casino Control Commission Chairman James Plousis told the Press of Atlantic City. “With the most attractions and entertainment options in recent memory, Atlantic City is providing more reasons to visit for anyone seeking top gaming, leisure, and recreation.”

Internet gambling continues to play a critical role in the revitalization and stabilization of Atlantic City. Online casinos accounted for $38.34 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR), a 57.8 percent jump.

Combined with sports betting revenue from the state’s two racetracks – the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park – total GGR for the New Jersey gaming industry came in at $276.77 million, up 27.1 percent.

Visitation Increasing

Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton University, noted that visitation to the beachfront gaming mecca is increasing. Data from the South Jersey Transportation Authority reveals that 4.6 percent more vehicles traveled past the Pleasantville Toll Plaza last month – the final toll on the Atlantic City Expressway before reaching the casino haven.

Though more people were presumably in town last month, five of the seven casinos in operation in May 2018 won fewer dollars on their floors last month. Borgata remains the top earner – and it’s not even close – but the MGM-owned casino’s $55.23 million haul represented a more than 10 percent GGR decline.

Golden Nugget lost even more in terms of percentage, the Marina District property down 13.1 percent. Harrah’s fell seven percent, and Bally’s 2.6 percent.

Resorts and Caesars were the bright spots, respectively posting GGR increases of 4.2 percent and three percent.

Hard Rock Emergence

Atlantic City’s nine casinos are battling for market share, and newcomer Hard Rock has surfaced as second fiddle to Borgata, and the top dog on the Boardwalk.

The Hard Rock’s more than $500 million investment has transformed the Boardwalk property into a glitzy casino resort seemingly transplanted from the Las Vegas Strip.

Hard Rock won $28.6 million on its casino floor in May, the second most of the nine casinos in town. Year to date, the casino owned by the Seminole Tribe in Florida has won $113.2 million, which is fourth behind Borgata ($269 million), Harrah’s ($124.8 million), and Tropicana ($121.7 million).

Ocean Casino hasn’t enjoyed the same success as Hard Rock. The northern most Boardwalk casino has won $72.8 million January through May.

Hard Rock, Ocean, and Resorts recently announced a marketing partnership to advertise the area as North Beach.

Ocean Casino Resort CEO Eric Matejevich explained, “We are all working together for the first time to highlight what is a great experience here in North Beach. A guest can have three totally different casino experiences with maybe 40 different restaurants within a 10-minute walk.”