Atlantic City Casinos Best September 2019, Sportsbooks Set $1B Handle Record

Posted on: October 18, 2021, 12:39h. 

Last updated on: October 18, 2021, 01:23h.

Atlantic City casinos capped off the end of the summer and beginning of fall in grand fashion.

Atlantic City casino revenue GGR New Jersey
Atlantic City casinos welcomed in robust play from retail gamblers last month, as September 2021 gross gaming revenue easily bettered September 2019. New Jersey’s gaming industry continues to grow by way of online casinos and sports betting. (Image: Getty)

The nine brick-and-mortar casino floors combined last month to win more than $248.5 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR). September 2021 represented a nearly 11 percent increase (or $24 million) on September 2019, when the casinos collectively won $224.5 million.

Slot machines at the shore won approximately $182 million, an increase of 14 percent from September 2019. Table games kept $66.5 million of gamblers’ bets last month, a two percent premium on the same month in 2019.

Atlantic City is enjoying a strong recovery,” James Plousis, chair of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, told “Compared to pre-pandemic September 2019, last month’s results were impressive.”

Media headlines regarding New Jersey’s gaming industry have recently touted a roaring comeback. That’s following the harshest periods of COVID-19. But the reports were slightly misleading, as a substantial component of the monthly gaming hauls were derived online. Atlantic City casinos keep far less of the revenue for online gaming than they do at their land-based businesses.

September 2021 finally showed that the industry is capable of growing online, while not negatively impacting business at the actual casino properties.

$3B Mark Eclipsed

Atlantic City’s nine casinos each made year-over-year GGR brick-and-mortar gains in September. And paired with their internet gaming and sports betting operations, September was one to remember.

GGR from iGaming totaled $122.6 million, and the casinos’ oddsmakers kept $34 million of the sports bets wagered. Both figures are up substantially on September 2020.

Atlantic City GGR from retail, online, and sports betting totaled approximately $405.1 million in September 2021. That’s a 39 percent year-over-year surge, and 43 percent better than September 2019.

Sports betting revenue generated by the three state horse racetracks, plus their online sportsbook operations, totaled $48.4 million.

All told, $453.56 million was won by gambling entities in New Jersey last month. That gigantic figure brings the state gaming industry’s year-to-date GGR to more than $3.4 billion. Plousis explains that it took through November in 2020 for the industry to eclipse the $3 billion mark.

“September’s results demonstrate that in-person casino gaming and internet gaming are a winning combination,” Plousis declared. “Atlantic City’s many options are appealing to different segments of the gaming public and can be a formula for its success.”

Record Sports Betting

The $82.4 million oddsmakers inside New Jersey won in September is their best month ever. The first legal sports bet was wagered by Gov. Phil Murphy (D) in June of 2018.

Oddsmakers took more than $1 billion in bets in September. It’s the first time a legal sports betting state in the country has seen more than $1 billion in action in a single month. All but $92.6 million of the $1.011 billion bet was placed through regulated online sportsbooks operating inside the state.

Year to date, oddsmakers have won $526.3 million off of sports bettors. Parlays account for the majority of the revenue at 17.6 percent.