It was the best of times and the worst of times for Atlantic City in January.
New AC casino revenue figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement painted two very different pictures. While land-based casino revenue dropped in AC for the month, NJ gambling sites hit a new high. A blizzard at the start of the month appears to be responsible for the former and might have led to new heights in the latter.
Atlantic City revenue, at a glance
The blizzard took a bite out of revenue in AC for the month. Total gross gaming revenue clocked in at $184.3 million, down from $204.7 million, a 10 percent drop.
For the land-based industry, the numbers were even worse. The $162.4 million in revenue was down from $185.9 million in January of last year. That’s a decrease of more than 12 percent, year over year.
More from the Press of AC in talking with Jim Plousis, chairman of the state Casino Control Commission:
“What a difference a blizzard makes,” Plousis said. “When people are stuck in their homes by more than a foot of snow, and temperatures are dipping into single digits, they don’t come to Atlantic City.”
No game type was immune: Both slots (-$14 million) and table games (-$9.4 million) saw dropoffs with less traffic in town.
Full numbers here.
Winners and losers in AC casinos
Well, no one was really a winner; some land-based casinos just lost less.
- Tropicana experienced the smallest drop percentage-wise year-over-year, pulling in $22.9 million, a six percent fall-off from last January ($24.3 million).
- Resorts saw a similar drop, from $11.6 million to $12.4 million.
- Caesars had the worst month, dropping 23 percent YoY ($21.8 million, down from $28.2 million)
- Borgata was in the middle of the pack in how much revenue it shed from last year (11 percent). But that translated into nearly $7 million less YoY ($53.6 million, down from $60.5 million) for the AC revenue leader.
New record for NJ gambling sites
While it was a bad start for the year in AC, it appears that NJ online gambling is going nowhere but up.
On the heels of a year where revenue for online casinos almost hit $250 million, iGaming accounted for nearly $22 million in January. That’s up more than 20 percent from January of last year when iGaming accounted for $18.8 million in revenue.
That’s a new monthly high in the state since online casinos first launched in 2013. It’s just the fourth time in the industry’s history that revenue has eclipsed $21 million.
Golden Nugget, meanwhile, continued to dominate the competition on the online side, with $7.3 million in revenue. That’s the first time any operator has topped $7 million in a single month. It accounts for about one-third of all online gambling revenue in the state.
Borgata was a distant second, nearly $4 million behind.
The NJ online poker segment continued to disappoint, accounting for only about $2 million in a vertical that isn’t growing.