Land-Based Atlantic City Casinos Fall in April, Internet Gaming Continues to Shine

Posted on: May 15, 2017, 04:00h. 

Last updated on: May 15, 2017, 03:25h.

Atlantic City left a little more than $7 million on the table during the month of April.

Atlantic City casino revenue April
Casino revenue reports best show how the Atlantic City economy is performing, but April mostly rained on the fiscally struggling town’s resurgence efforts. (Image: Mel Evans/Associated Press)

According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), last month the region’s seven casinos collected a $190.9 million win at their land-based casino floors, a 3.6 percent decrease from April 2016’s take of $198 million. To spin the report positive, when the now-closed Trump Taj Mahal’s previous year income is eliminated, the Atlantic City venues still in business were up a little more than four percent.

Borgata, Caesars, Golden Nugget, Resorts, and Tropicana all saw their land-based gaming increase, while Harrah’s and Bally’s went in the other direction.

The biggest winner was once again Borgata, and it wasn’t even close. The Marina District resort claimed $58.5 million, or almost 31 percent of Atlantic City’s total gaming revenue.

The Borgata was followed by Tropicana at $28.3 million, which continues to benefit from the Taj Mahal’s closing. Carl Icahn designated the property as the reciprocal resort for TrumpOne rewards members when he shut down the Taj last fall, and it appears the shuttered casino’s faithful have found a new home.

Year to date, Tropicana leads the way in Atlantic City, as its brick-and-mortar winnings are up over 24 percent.

Internet Gaming Soars

April’s gaming report for New Jersey would have been worse if it were not for online gaming. Revenue from web-based betting totaled $20.8 million, a 22.6 percent premium on 2016.

Golden Nugget was the pacesetting with $5.3 million, a staggering 63 percent year-over-year jump.

While the physical casinos in Atlantic City won less money, online they all took more in April of 2017 than the same period a year ago. Tropicana climbed almost 29 percent ($3.9 million), Caesars Interactive jumped 11 percent ($3.5 million), Resorts Digital increased 8.5 percent ($3.7 million), and Borgata moved six percent higher to $4.2 million.

Online poker, however, continues to struggle. The digital version of the interactive card game fell 24 percent, as rake and fee came in at just $1.9 million.

Luck Cited for Decline

The tables also weren’t real bountiful inside city limits. Casinos took $49.2 million from table games in April, $6.2 million less than in 2016. That correlates to a drop of over 11 percent.

New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chairman Matthew Levinson says it’s all just part of the ebb and flow of the casino business.

“Players were luckier this April than in last April,” Levinson told the Associated Press. “Swings like that have to be expected. It is, after all, gambling.”

The DGE will continue painting its revenue picture with a glossy finish by removing Trump Taj Mahal’s 2016 cut until next October, the anniversary of its closing. In 2018, the property is expected to be reopened by new owner Hard Rock after it completes a $375 million renovation.

Owned by the Seminole Tribe, Hard Rock purchased the Taj from Icahn in March for just $50 million. President Donald Trump and his investors spent $1.2 billion to build the resort in 1990.