Atlantic City casinos won $235.8 million in September, a nearly eight percent surge compared to the same month in 2016. Land-based revenues totaled $215.4 million, a 2.4 percent bump, and with internet gaming win of $20.4 million factored in, the seven properties’ net take increased 7.9 percent.
Year to date, total gaming win for the current operators is outpacing 2016 by 9.1 percent. Revenue has now passed the $2 billion mark, and with just three months to go, 2017 is almost guaranteed to be Atlantic City’s best year, in terms of percentage growth, in over a decade.
“This isn’t just luck. Business is building,” New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chairman Matthew Levinson told the Press of Atlantic City. “More than half of the casinos had their best September in a decade or more.”
Levinson noted that those statistics provide a strong foundation for continued economic recovery in the gambling town that watched casino revenues plummet from $5.2 billion in 2006 to just $2.56 billion in 2015. Last year was Atlantic City’s first annual gain (1.55 percent) since that record-setting year in 2006.
Executives at the seven remaining resorts are certainly happy to see money returning to their casino floors. Through nine months, the venues have collectively brought in $17.34 million more than at this time a year ago.
Five casinos closed between 2014 and 2016, and some analysts believed it was a “right-sizing” for Atlantic City. As competition expanded in neighboring states, commercial casinos with slot machines and table games now in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, and soon Massachusetts, the presumption was that Atlantic City could no longer support a dozen gambling venues.
Seven is considered a lucky number, and seven casinos seems to be a good fit for Atlantic City. But that won’t last long, as Hard Rock is investing $500 million to reimagine the shuttered Taj into a rock-and- roll-themed casino resort, and rumors continue to swirl a potential Revel sale or reopening.
Hard Rock Chairman Jim Allen is confident that his company’s investment is a solid bet. “The days of right-sizing and downsizing are behind us,” Allen opined earlier this year.
Internet Winning Big
Online gambling continues to play a vital role in Atlantic City’s recovery.
Internet casinos have won $183.67 million through September for the state’s five online operators. The total represents a 27 percent surge in 2017, and the outlook for internet gaming is only improving.
While interactive online slot play is robust, internet poker has been sluggish. That could soon change, now that Governor Chris Christie (R) signed an interstate compact to allow internet poker operators to share player pools with Nevada and Delaware once their software is approved in all three states.
The agreement will also allow progressive jackpots to increase prizes, which could attract new players, and ideally, more revenue as well.