Atlantic City Gaming Revenue Increasing Despite Casinos’ Reduced Profits

Posted on: April 15, 2019, 08:11h. 

Last updated on: April 16, 2019, 08:12h.

Atlantic City casinos are winning more money than they have in previous years, but the resorts are continuing to see their gross operating profits decline.

Atlantic City casino revenue GGR
Higher gaming wins in Atlantic City aren’t resulting in better profit margins for casino operators. (Image: Craig Matthews/Press of Atlantic City)

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) reveals gross gaming revenue (GGR) in March totaled $293.96 million, a 34.5 percent surge compared to the same month in 2018. Atlantic City is home to two additional casinos this year, and sports betting is operational at the venues, as well as two horse racetracks.

Land-based GGR from slots and table games in Atlantic City was $223.16 million, a 15.7 percent year-over-year premium.

March numbers clearly indicate strength in the gaming market,” Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism Executive Director Rummy Pandit stated. “Even without considering revenue from the two new properties, gaming revenue is up for the month by over 5 percent and year-to-date by more than three percent.”

“This is a complete turnaround from last year, when March was down 1.5 percent and the quarter was down 5.9 percent,” he concluded.

Borgata remains the top dog in Atlantic City, as the Marina District casino reported GGR of $65.7 million last month. The property’s March performance was a 1.3 percent gain.

The next winningest casino is Borgata neighbor Golden Nugget at a distant $32 million. Billionaire owner Tilman Fertitta is exploring a merger of his casinos with Caesars Entertainment.

Higher Wins, Lower Profits

Last week, the DGE released its 2018 full-year report on gross operating profits for Atlantic City. The casinos collectively saw gross profits plummet 15.4 percent to $582.6 million. That’s a $141 million reduction compared to 2017.

New Jersey Casino Control Commission (CCC) Chairman James Plousis said while the reopenings of two shuttered Boardwalk casinos might be thinning profits, the addition of “thousands of jobs and many exciting new amenities position us well for continued growth.”

He added this week, “Earlier this week, the casinos reported tighter profit margins in 2018, but we are seeing results from the investments they’ve made. The regional economy is benefiting, and the industry is hiring. More than 2,000 jobs are open, including about 700 full-time positions.”

Atlantic City could soon become home to 10 casinos. Showboat owner Bart Blatstein is amid the licensing process to open gaming operations adjacent to his resort, which remains barred from incorporating a casino due to a deed restriction.

Sports Betting Assist

The legalization of sports betting in New Jersey is providing the gaming industry with a substantial financial boost. GGR from sportsbooks amounted to $31.66 million last month, and year-to-date is at more than $63.17 million.

More than two billion dollars in sports bets have been wagered inside the Garden State since operations began last June. The Meadowlands horse racetrack in Northern New Jersey is taking the most money, as the FanDuel sportsbook’s GGR totals $32.69 million through the first quarter of 2019. Resorts is next at $18.3 million.

Win on sports betting is taxed at 8.5 percent for wagers made in person. Bets made online are taxed higher at 13 percent.