Atlantic City Gambling Revenue Report Shows Mixed Results in July

Posted on: August 15, 2017, 12:00h. 

Last updated on: August 15, 2017, 10:04h.

Atlantic City has entered the dog days of summer, and that’s leading to mixed results at the casino resorts. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) announced this week that overall gambling win decreased in July by 2.7 percent compared to 2016, but the seven land-based operators still in business actually saw their revenues collectively grow by almost four percent.

Atlantic City revenue Mark Frissora
Caesars CEO Mark Frissora feels there’s plenty of reason to celebrate Atlantic City’s economic return, and new investments from his company are forthcoming. (Image: Caesars Entertainment)

When the Trump Taj Mahal’s July 2016 take is eliminated from the bottom line, current operators win of $267.9 million win represents a 3.9 percent bump. While that’s good news for the remaining companies, the fact remains that $275.3 million in gambling dollars came to Atlantic City last July, or $7.4 million more.

“You win some, you lose some,” is a cliché that seems to perfectly fit the revenue report. But the state’s chief casino authority remains hopeful.

“It is clear that business is building for the seven operating casinos and I am optimistic it will continue to grow in the months ahead,” Casino Control Commission Chairman Matthew Levinson told the Associated Press.

Internet casinos once again played a key role, as win soared almost 19 percent. Online gambling operations netted $20.6 million, with poker rake accounting for just $2 million.

Outpacing 2016

Despite the mixed revenue report, year to date, Atlantic City remains in front of where it was in 2016 through July. The town’s total win now stands at $1,558,558,964, a 2.4 percent increase. And when Taj earnings are excluded, the seven casinos are outpacing their income last year by 10 percent.

Borgata once again led the way in total gaming win, but also led in terms of biggest percentage decrease. The Marina District property saw land-based and internet revenue land at $80.1 million, down 5.5 percent from 2016’s $84.8 million haul.

Neighboring marina resort Golden Nugget also struggled at its brick and mortar floor. Casino win fell 2.6 percent to $20.8 million, but a strong performance online ($6.2 million, +68.9 percent) help steady the ship, with its total win climbing eight percent.

July’s biggest percentage winner was Resorts. The Boardwalk venue saw revenue climb over 14 percent to $20.4 million, and its online product jumped 23 percent to $3.7 million.

Months Ahead Critical

Hard Rock is spending $500 million to renovate the former Taj Mahal and make it into a rock ‘n’ roll-themed casino resort. The question is, will the $7.4 million in gambling money that disappeared last month from the market return with the addition of an eighth casino?

Some economic analysts believe the closure of five resorts between 2014 and last fall “right-sized” the market, as competition in neighboring states continues to close in on Atlantic City. Hard Rock obviously feels otherwise.

New Jersey recently reached tax disputes with seven remaining casinos, including two shuttered properties. Governor Chris Christie (R) said that’s good news for all parties, as property tax appeals “threaten the city’s financial future.”

One major stakeholder benefiting from Atlantic City’s turnaround is Caesars. Expected to soon exit bankruptcy, the conglomerate’s three resorts in New Jersey are collectively up over six percent.