No June Gloom For Atlantic City Casino Revenue As Hard Rock, Ocean Resort Open

The opening of two new casinos and the emergence of two sportsbooks provided a significant boost to Atlantic City casino revenue in June.

According to revenue numbers provided by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), the casino industry enjoyed a 6.3 percent increase in gaming revenue compared to June 2016.

Perhaps most significant in this past month’s numbers is the inclusion of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino. The two properties opened June 28 and ushered in a new era in AC history.

Overall numbers rise with a little help

The DGE notes that casinos earned a total gaming revenue (including NJ sports betting and online casino revenue) of $231.4 million in June. That number is roughly $16 million more than the $217.7 million earned in June 2017.

When NJ online gambling revenue and sports betting revenue are excluded, the numbers aren’t nearly as impressive but they still end up in positive territory. Overall casino win stood at $207.5 million for June 2018, a 5.1 percent increase compared to June 2017.

The jump in revenue also represents a significant increase in terms of the typical month-to-month jump.

Here are the monthly Atlantic City casino revenue numbers so far this year:

  • January: $162,350,669
  • February: $170,064,598
  • March: $194,883,771
  • April: $191,416,787
  • May: $193,394,309
  • June: $207,496,488

The revenue increase from February to March involved two factors: bad weather and a short month.

This anomaly aside, the $14.1 million revenue increase between May and June is the biggest increase so far this year. From January to February, there was a roughly $8 million increase. From March to April, the industry experienced a worrisome decline, and April to May saw a small $2 million increase, more or less.

To put it another way, the $14.1 million revenue increase this past month surpassed the sum of all revenue increases this year, February-to-March not included.

This type of revenue increase can be considered a huge win for the city, mainly because it could indicate a strong summer once Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort have a full month to generate revenue.

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Three days of Hard Rock and Ocean Resort

The DGE report contained the revenue numbers from Hard Rock AC and Ocean Resort, numbers which represent the two casino’s soft opening and grand opening numbers.

In the case of Hard Rock, it’s online casino opened for business the same day as its Boardwalk casino, but the site does not have sports betting as yet. Ocean Resort, however, does have a sportsbook up and running. The Ocean Resort online casino launched July 10.

The land-based casinos were officially open for just three days in June and, according to the DGE, here’s how the revenue numbers for AC’s newest properties panned out:

  • Ocean Resort total revenue (casino + sports betting): $3,200,371 ($3.01 million  + $192,671)
  • Hard Rock AC total revenue (casino + internet win): $4,177,295 ($4.17 million + $5,569)

The per-day average revenue over the course of three days is about $1.07 million at Ocean Resort and $1.39 million at Hard Rock Atlantic City.

Over the course of a 30-day month, those numbers would translate to $32.1 million at Ocean Resort and $41.7 million for Hard Rock AC. It would put them in the top five for AC casinos.

It’s hard to say if those opening-weekend numbers are higher than normal or, because patrons are somewhat distracted by the hoopla and events, lower than normal. And in the end, extrapolating the numbers doesn’t take into account fluctuations in tourism.

Either way, the summer is looking to be a good one for Atlantic City.

About the Author

J.R. Duren

A three-time winner of the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism contest, J.R. Duren works as a freelance writer with a focus on the NJ online gambling and online casino industry. He writes for a number of publications, including Bespoke Post, Our Amazing Norway, Barcelona Metropolitan, Snooth, and the Villages Daily Sun.