Revenue from gambling in Atlantic City ticked up annually for the first time in a decade, thanks to the burgeoning New Jersey online gambling industry.

Historic revenue for NJ gambling

Revenue for gambling was up in a big way for December, and that led to AC casinos having their first year with an increase in revenue in many moons.

The casinos took in $189.7 million in gaming revenue in December of 2016, which is up 6.8 percent from the prior December ($177.6 million).

That led to a turnaround for AC on an annual basis. Total gaming revenue (land-based casinos and NJ online casinos) for the year clocked in at $2.6 billion, an increase of 1.5 percent over 2015.

Per The Associated Press:

The last time Atlantic City casino revenue increased was in 2006, just as a wave of Pennsylvania casinos began opening and drawing away Atlantic City’s customers

Online gambling is behind the rise

Without online gambling, it’s clear that AC would not have had a year in which it saw gaming revenues rise. Atlantic City saw yet another casino close this year — Trump Taj Mahal.

But online gambling saw a record-breaking month, led by Golden Nugget.

Online gambling revenue was up 32 percent in 2016 from 2015, to $196.7 million. That helped NJ casinos stem the tide of losing Trump Taj Mahal revenues in the final quarter of the year.

If nothing else, it should help drive home the point that online gambling does not cannibalize revenue for land-based casinos.

Virgin Online Casino In New Jersey

Winners and losers, by casino

Land-based revenue along was down only slightly for 2016. Considering revenue was down $65 million for the shuttered Taj Mahal alone, that is fairly astounding.

Several casinos came out well ahead for the full year:

  • Borgata: Up $36 million to $722 million
  • Tropicana: Up $24 million to $304 million
  • Resorts: $11 million to $173 million

The biggest loser on the land-based front was Harrah’s, down $16 million, to $358 million.