Atlantic City Casino Revenue Tops 2019 Numbers in April, But Inflation Clouds Industry Health

Posted on: May 16, 2022, 03:10h. 

Last updated on: May 16, 2022, 03:26h.

Atlantic City casino revenue in April 2022 bested the industry’s brick-and-mortar performance in the same month prior to the pandemic. The April revenue report demonstrates that the industry is amid a continued recovery, as the gaming town’s busy summer season nears.

Atlantic City casino revenue GGR New Jersey
An “eye in the sky” at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City monitors a Three Card Poker game. Atlantic City casinos reported higher-than-2019 revenue in April 2022. (Image: AP)

Numbers released today by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) reveal that casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) from land-based operations totaled $235.2 million last month. That is up 24% from April 2021, and more than 13% better than the $207.6 million the same nine casinos won on their brick-and-mortar floors in April 2019.

Atlantic City’s casino win and total gaming revenue outperformed the same period last year and even surpassed pre-pandemic levels,” New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chair James Plousis told “Compared to April 2019, casino win grew more than 13% and total gaming revenue grew an impressive 54%.

“Regional tourism is rebounding and momentum is building for a promising start of the summer season later this month,” Plousis concluded while referencing May’s Memorial Day — often cited as the unofficial start of the Atlantic City summer.

Retail slot win last month totaled $175.2 million, while tables generated a little more than $60 million for the house. Those verticals respectively won $138 million and $51.6 million in April 2021.

MGM Resorts’ Borgata continues to dominate the Atlantic City gaming industry. The Marina District property reported land-based GGR of $61.6 million. Hard Rock was a distant second at $40.6 million.

Industry Flourishing

Along with the bright April report for Atlantic City casinos, the DGE filing shows that iGaming continues to prosper despite some gamblers returning to in-person gaming. Internet GGR totaled nearly $136.8 million last month — 27% better than last year, and a staggering 71% higher than April 2020, when Atlantic City was closed on state pandemic orders.

Sports betting revenue, including in-person and mobile wagering, totaled approximately $50.3 million. That revenue includes sports betting receipts generated by the state’s three horse racetracks that offer sports betting.

Sportsbooks were a lone dark spot on the April report, as the number represents an 8% decline from April 2021. However, sports betting income last month was more than double what oddsmakers won in April 2019.

All combined, April ’22 gaming revenue totaled $422.5 million. That is 20% higher than April ’21, and almost 60% better than April ’19.

Cautiously Optimistic

April was only the second time that Atlantic City casinos reported better-than-2019 same-month revenue since the pandemic started in early 2020.

While COVID remains a concern, the public seems to be returning to pre-pandemic social behavior by attending large gatherings, traveling more, and socializing with friends,” said Jane Bokunewicz, director of Stockton University’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism.

Casino Association of New Jersey and Hard Rock President Joe Lupo added to the Associated Press that April was “encouraging as we move forward to our busier summer season.”

Inflation, however, somewhat pauses any celebration that Atlantic City is alive and well. With inflation figured in, the $207.6 million won by the casinos on their physical floors in April 2019 is today the equivalent of $234.8 million — nearly in line with the $235.2 million won last month.