Atlantic City Casinos Kick-off 2020 with Strong January, Gaming Revenue Tops $300M

Posted on: February 12, 2020, 03:05h. 

Last updated on: February 13, 2020, 11:29h.

Atlantic City casinos and sportsbooks enjoyed a strong first month in 2020, as gross gaming revenue (GGR) exceeded $300 million, a nearly 31 percent increase on January 2019.

Atlantic City casinos sports betting
Sports betting is being credited with keeping visitors coming to Atlantic City casinos during the colder months. (Image: Wayne Parry/AP)

Brick-and-mortar operations in Atlantic City saw slot machines and table games win $192 million – an 8.3 percent year-over-year premium. Online casino GGR totaled $55 million, a 64 percent jump.

Sports betting, which includes land-based Atlantic City casinos, mobile wagering, and at the state’s two horse racetrack facilities, generated revenue of $53.6 million. That’s a whopping 185 percent surge, or $18.7 million bonus.

“Atlantic City continued its momentum with strong results in January,” New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chair James Plousis told the Press of Atlantic City.

He added, “Revenue from slots, table games, internet wagering, and sports wagering all grew. Internet and sports wagering did particularly well, bolstering the industry’s performance in the middle of the traditional off-season.”

January marked the 20th consecutive month of GGR increases for Atlantic City.

No January Blues

The winter months have historically been a difficult period for Atlantic City. But sports betting seems to be one way to keep guests coming to town.

Handle, the total amount of money wagered, was $540.1 million last month. Oddsmakers reported an 8.4 percent win, resulting in sports betting GGR of $44 million.

Though sports wagers can be placed anywhere inside New Jersey through mobile and online applications, some still travel to the shore to have the true sports betting experience.

Guests who came to wager on sports events took the opportunity to explore Atlantic City’s abundant gaming and non-gaming options,” Plousis added. “Casino executives I’ve spoken with were very pleased that customers stayed longer to enjoy the city’s diverse dining and entertainment.”

Parlays, which are single bets placed on two or more sporting event outcomes, have become quite popular in the Garden State, and a major revenue source for oddsmakers. The books reported $18.9 million in parlay wins last month on completed handle of $99.2 million (19.1 percent hold).

Meanwhile, football won just shy of $10.2 million on a 7.9 percent hold. Basketball garnered the most action – $177.4 million in wagers – and scored a $9.3 million win for the bookmakers.

The Meadowlands and partner FanDuel remain the dominant sports betting operator, GGR there totaling more than $26.4 million. And once again, online sportsbooks took the lion’s share of the bets – $471.1 million.

Reason to Celebrate

Internet gambling and mobile sports betting has certainly played a substantial role in delivering Atlantic City casinos 20 straight months of revenue gains. But play at the physical casinos was robust in January.

Of the nine casinos, six posted year-over-year gains.

January Land-Based GGR

  • Bally’s $10.7M -11.6 percent
  • Borgata $54.6M +8.5
  • Caesars $17M -0.5
  • Golden Nugget $15M +2.9
  • Hard Rock $21.4M 8.0
  • Harrah’s $23.5M 9.5
  • Ocean $16.8M 36.2
  • Resorts $12.3M -2.6
  • Tropicana $20.3M -2.7

Hard Rock announced this week its plot to better utilize internet gaming by unveiling live slot machines that are played remotely. The format is geared towards people who might have hesitations about gambling online.