Atlantic City Casinos Report Revenue Slide in October, Retail Losses Offset Online Gains

Posted on: November 18, 2022, 12:03h. 

Last updated on: November 18, 2022, 12:47h.

Last month, the nine casinos in Atlantic City won 7% fewer dollars on their brick-and-mortar gaming floors than they did in October 2021.

Atlantic City casinos gaming revenue GGR
The Showboat Christmas tree arrives on the Atlantic City Boardwalk on Nov. 17, 2022. The holidays didn’t come early for the nine casinos in town, as brick-and-mortar gaming revenue slowed in October. (Image: Patch)

Land-based gross gaming revenue (GGR) in October 2022 totaled approximately $220.6 million. That’s down 7.1%, or nearly $17 million, from the same month last year. Retail slots kept $166.2 million of the coin-in, a 7.3% year-over-year decline, while table games won about $54.4 million — down 6.6%.

Though in-person play waned, online players lost more in October 2022 than they did during the previous October. GGR from internet slots, table games, and interactive poker rake totaled $147.1 million.

The nearly 16% iGaming GGR gain offset the reduced brick-and-mortar business and a disappointing month for oddsmakers. Sports betting revenue declined more than 7% to $77.9 million.

In all, New Jersey GGR totaled $445.7 million in October 2022. That is a 0.7% year-over-year loss — or about $3 million.

Woeful Casinos

Atlantic City casinos have been on a public relations campaign stressing the dire conditions facing the New Jersey beachfront gaming town. The nine properties say they continue to struggle in the wake of the pandemic, despite media reports relaying that overall gaming in the Garden State continues to expand.

But much of that revenue — specifically iGaming and online sports betting — doesn’t stay in Atlantic City, instead going to the casinos’ third-party partners like DraftKings and FanDuel. The casinos successfully convinced state lawmakers earlier this year to no longer include iGaming and mobile sportsbook revenue in their payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) property tax calculation.

The PILOT adjustment, which remains tied up in courts after Atlantic County sued the state over the amendment, would save the casinos $55 million this year alone in property taxes. If the PILOT alteration is deemed legal, the casinos could save as much as $295 million through the 2026 expiration of the PILOT program.

The casinos are also fighting against an effort being led by gaming workers to extinguish indoor smoking. The Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ) warns that such a regulatory change could hurt annual brick-and-mortar gaming by as much as 25%, leading to thousands of job losses.

Casinos $100M Healthier than 2019

Atlantic City casinos are adamant in urging New Jersey lawmakers to maintain the status quo regarding gaming regulations shortly.

Former New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D), who championed the PILOT tax break for the casinos, backed those claims. He said on his way out that he’s been told that up to four Atlantic City casinos would be in jeopardy of closing without such property tax savings.

But even with brick-and-mortar GGR slowing by more than 7% in October, last month’s land-based win of $220.6 million was still 9.1% higher than the $202.2 million that the same nine casinos won in pre-pandemic October 2019.

However, the casinos say their overheads have increased greatly amid record inflation and high employee turnover. Still, from January through October 2022, land-based GGR of roughly $2.35 billion is more than $101 million ahead of the same 10 months in 2019.