New Jersey Gaming Revenue Soars 25 Percent in January, But Atlantic City Casinos Struggle

Posted on: February 14, 2019, 10:22h. 

Last updated on: February 14, 2019, 10:22h.

New Jersey gaming revenue jumped nearly 25 percent in January. Atlantic City operations, online casinos, and sports betting collectively won more than $229.6 million.

New Jersey gaming revenue Hard Rock
Hard Rock Atlantic City helped drive total New Jersey gaming revenue higher in January. (Image: Wayne Parry/AP)

Land-based gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Atlantic City totaled $177.2 million, a 9.2 percent increase compared to the same month in 2018. Internet casinos won $33.6 million, a 53 percent surge, and sportsbooks kept $18.77 million in bets.

New Jersey gaming income was $45.3 million more in January 2019 compared with the previous year.

Atlantic City held its own in January, a month when gaming figures have traditionally dropped off,” New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chairman James Plousis told the Press of Atlantic City. “The figures seem to be a good first chapter for Atlantic City’s 2019 gaming story.”

Atlantic City casinos won $2.85 billion last year, the market’s best number since 2013.

Dissecting Revenue Report

The headline that GGR is up almost 25 percent in New Jersey reads well. However, not everything is as it appears.

The financial filing from the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) shows that January was a cold month for Atlantic City casinos’ land-based operations. Borgata, the top revenue earner, saw its win decrease six percent to $53.6 million.

Bally’s fell five percent, Harrah’s 8.6 percent, and Golden Nugget 9.6 percent. The biggest loser was Caesars, which saw GGR plummet 21.3 percent to $17.1 million, a loss of more than $4.6 million.

Only Resorts recorded a land-based gaming revenue win – up 8.8 percent to $12.6 million.

The total land-based revenue increase of course comes from the introductions of Hard Rock and Ocean Resort. The Boardwalk properties respectively generated $15.5 million and $12.3 million in casino win.

The addition of sports betting – which also wasn’t in operation in January 2018 but was last month – delivered an additional $9.7 million to Atlantic City casinos. Sportsbooks at Meadowlands ($7 million) and Monmouth Park ($2 million) helped the overall New Jersey gaming revenue picture.

Sports Betting Expansion

New Jersey is one of the seven states that has joined Nevada in allowing full-scale sports betting. And handle – aka total bets placed – continues to grow in the Garden State.

Oddsmakers printed $385.28 million worth of ticket slips last month, the state’s all-time best since the activity went live last June. Resorts and its mobile partner DraftKings reported the largest sports betting win, with revenue coming in at nearly $6.9 million. Ocean Resort’s William Hill sportsbook was next at $1.2 million.

All nine Atlantic City casinos have land-based sportsbooks, as does the Monmouth and Meadowlands horse racetracks. Numerous mobile betting platforms are additionally up and running.

The $18.77 million win comes before New Jersey sportsbooks suffered a loss during Super Bowl 53 earlier this month. The DGE said oddsmakers took $34.89 million in bets, but paid out $39.46 million after heavy action on the winning New England Patriots.

DraftKings spun the statewide loss by saying, “If our customers are winning, we’re winning.”