Atlantic City Casino Revenue Slips Again In March, But Summer Is On The Horizon

Four nor’easters lumbered through New Jersey in March, resulting in a decrease of year-on-year revenue for Atlantic City’s seven casinos. But with summer comes Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino.

Mother Nature played the ultimate trump card last month, slamming New Jersey with four nor’easters that kept people indoors.

Atlantic City casinos not only had to weather the multiple storms like everyone else, but they also felt the sting of the natural fury in a critical way: revenue.

According to the March revenue numbers from the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), the state’s land-based casinos saw a 3.6 percent decline as compared to March 2017.

These wins are comprised of table games and slots, not NJ online gambling.

Winners and losers in Atlantic City

Every month that the DGE publishes the reported gambling win, there are winners and losers.

This past month, only one casino reported an increase in revenue as compared to March 2017: Golden Nugget.

Golden Nugget Atlantic City took home $52.7 million in March, a 3 percent increase compared to the casino’s $51.2 million haul in 2017.

Every other casino in the city lost money from its land-based offerings. Here is a list of the reported losses, beginning with the biggest decrease:

Looking at these numbers could lead one to believe that a 3.6 percent casino decline was a considerable loss. But even with the onslaught of big storms, casinos were able to post fewer losses than they did in February.

Atlantic City casinos saw an 8.9 percent year-on-year drop in February, nearly double the downturn they felt in March. Those losses followed the same pattern as March, too.

Golden Nugget was the only property to post year-on-year gains (4.7 percent), and Caesars reported the biggest loss (23 percent).

Resorts was an outlier. The casino suffered a 20.9 percent loss in February but only a 12.3 percent loss in March. The 8.9 percent change represented the biggest improvement from February to March.

No Deposit Bonus
$20 Free
Deposit Bonus
100% up to $1,000
Play Anywhere

   

Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is our favorite NJ online casino, and for good reason. It has more than 500 casino games (the most in New Jersey) and offers live dealer games. It also has great deposit options and an easy-to-use online and mobile interface.

Online gambling tempered the losses

The casinos’ fiscal skies could’ve been as grey as the storms that hampered them were it not for significant wins from the online side.

According to the DGE, New Jersey online casinos and poker rooms earned 17.9 percent more than they did in March 2017, a revenue jump that totaled a record $25.6 million. It was the third straight month that NJ gambling sites posted revenue of more than $21 million.

With online gambling revenue, however, Atlantic City casinos boast only a 1.6 percent decline. The seven casinos won $218.4 million overall in March, about 11 percent of which was from online gambling.

So it’s a sure bet that online gambling in New Jersey is a boon for Atlantic City casinos, especially when bad weather strikes.

Summer openings should yield big returns

While Atlantic City casinos should break their weather-induced slump in April, the biggest gains will probably come this summer when the Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino open their doors.

Hard Rock International announced on Wednesday that its property is opening on June 28. Meanwhile, Ocean Resort has yet to reveal their summer opening date.

It’s widely believed that these two casinos will boost, at least temporarily, the city’s revenue as regulars and newcomers flock to the seaside gambling town to celebrate the new brands.

In the long run, however, the revenue numbers aren’t so clear. The two schools of thought are that all casinos will share the revenue; everyone will get a slice of the pie (or pizza, if you prefer).

The other scenario is that the new casinos’ magnetism — Hard Rock, in particular — will pull customers away from other properties. The smaller casinos — Resorts, Bally’s, and Golden Nugget — could feel some pretty acute financial pain.

NJ Sports Betting Case Nets A Price Tag Of $8.6 Million In Legal Fees

A recent report revealed that New Jersey has spent $8.6 million in legal fees during its yearslong fight to legalize sports betting, but the NJ sports betting case is coming to a close with the Supreme Court deciding its fate soon.

Freedom doesn’t come cheap.

Earlier this month, online publication Observer reported that New Jersey had spent $8.6 million in legal fees during its sports betting appeal. The state is asking the US Supreme Court for the freedom to create and enact their own laws regarding sports betting.

Those fees have accumulated since 2012 when then-Gov. Chris Christie hired private law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to take up the case in circuit court and eventually before the Supreme Court.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher billed most of the $8.6 million, with one other firm, Gibbons P.C., billing about $1.5 million, the Observer reported.

The costs, however, are all part of a yearslong effort to bring Las Vegas-style sports betting to New Jersey casinos and racetracks.

The saga on NJ sports betting could end soon

The NJ sports betting narrative began in 2011 when citizens voted to amend the state’s constitution and allow sports betting.

Christie tried twice to sign an NJ sports betting bill into law and twice the NCAA and professional sports leagues put up a fight.

Under the current Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, such a move wasn’t allowed under law. PASPA, as the law is known, stopped new states from legalizing sports betting, effectively stripping the power of the states to decide the issue on their own.

Congress passed PASPA in 1992, and the law went into effect in 1993. State’s had a one-year window to pass sports betting laws. But at the time, the general public was in favor of a sports betting ban. Nevada and a few other states that already had sports betting laws in the books were exempt from PASPA.

The case currently before the Supreme Court is the third and, hopefully, final time that New Jersey has taken their state law to the federal court system.

The common opinion among experts is that the court will decide the case sometime this month or next month.

No Deposit Bonus
$20 Free
Deposit Bonus
100% up to $1,000
Play Anywhere

   

Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is our favorite NJ online casino, and for good reason. It has more than 500 casino games (the most in New Jersey) and offers live dealer games. It also has great deposit options and an easy-to-use online and mobile interface.

The tide is turning in favor of sports betting

Over the past few months, nearly 20 states have moved sports betting through their respective legislatures. It’s been tough sledding, though; West Virginia was the only state to turn a bill into law in 2018 so far. Pennsylvania’s online gambling law in 2017 included a provision for sports betting.

Technically, the laws are not yet legal. Should the Supreme Court void PASPA, then West Virginia and Pennsylvania can join New Jersey in offering legal sports betting almost immediately.

And there seems to be an indication that the tide is turning in favor of sports betting across the country. A 2017 survey from Gallup/CNN/USA Today poll indicated that, for the first time in polling history since 1992, the general public supports sports betting.

“A 55-percent majority approve of legalizing betting on pro sporting events, a flip from almost a quarter-century ago, when a federal law went into effect banning the practice in most of the country and 56 percent of Americans disapproved of legalization,” a Washington Post article stated.

Resorts AC To Kick Off Epic 40th Anniversary Celebration Memorial Day Weekend

Resorts Atlantic City is planning a weekend-long celebration of its 40th anniversary as the original New Jersey casino. But the party at Resorts AC continues all summer long with promotions and deals.

The city may have changed but its soul hasn’t. Gambling and a good time are still the buzz words in Atlantic City.

One casino that was there from the beginning will, next month, celebrate 40 years of bearing witness to all the stories that have made Atlantic City the East Coast gambling mecca that it is.

Resorts Casino in AC will hold its official anniversary from May 25 to May 28, according to a press release that owners Mohegan Sun sent out this past week.

Resorts AC president and CEO, Mark Giannantonio, said the Memorial Day weekend celebration is about giving back to a community that has embraced the casino for so long.

“We are thrilled to kick off our anniversary celebration with an outstanding performance and summer event lineup; however, more importantly, honor our guests and employees who supported Resorts and the evolution of Atlantic City over the past 40 years.”

A snapshot of weekend festivities at Resorts AC

Resorts AC has all sorts of events planned for the celebratory weekend, including an 8 p.m. Saturday night performance by The Village People. The band is a fitting choice for the weekend because they formed their group in 1978, the same year Resorts opened.

The casino will also host events that highlight the casino’s standing as one of the original properties in Atlantic City.

From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 26, visitors can “test their luck and take a pull” on what the casino claims to be the first slot machine in Atlantic City.  Players can earn up to $2,500, the press release said.

At 2 p.m. on Friday, May 25, visitors can watch a re-enactment of the first official roll of the dice Atlantic City ever witnessed.

The casino will also host its annual Beach Ball Drop at 5 p.m. Friday night.

No Deposit Bonus
$20 Free
Deposit Bonus
100% up to $1,000
Play Anywhere

   

Resorts Casino

Resorts Atlantic City is the oldest casino on the Boardwalk, so its online casino in New Jersey is instantly recognizable to players. We like the site for its humongous game library and the no deposit offer. With frequently-changing short-term promotions and new games being added constantly, there’s a lot to like here.

Throwback Thursdays will last all summer long

As a nod to the casino’s 1970s beginning, Resorts will run promotions every Thursday in which cocktail menus will feature $4 beverages that hearken back to the decade of disco. Naturally, the Tom Collins will be one of them.

According to the press release, these Thursday promotions run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 31 to Aug. 30.

“Our 40th anniversary is a celebration of Resorts’ success, and we look forward to commemorating this exciting time in our history by hosting three months of can’t-miss entertainment and promotions,” Giannantonio noted.

Resorts Atlantic City outlasting everyone

The 2017 revenue numbers the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported earlier this year showed that Resorts Atlantic City was on the bottom rung in overall non-online revenue. It pulled in $190.5 million, placing it about $21 million behind the next casino, Bally’s, and about $565 million behind front-runner Borgata.

But what the casino lacks in revenue power, it gains in posterity. Resorts AC has stood the test of time and outlasted several economic downturns. When five casinos closed in NJ in 2014, Resorts was not one of them. Even when its newest casino brethren open later this summer — Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino — Resorts hopes to hold its own.

As of March, the casino showed somewhat of a surge, posting a total non-online revenue of $38.4 million, which was about $4 million behind Bally’s. Over the course of four quarters, Resorts will, in theory, be about $16 million behind Bally’s, or $5 million better than 2017.

Perhaps its fitting that the 40th-anniversary celebration will last all summer long. Resorts AC keeps rolling the dice.

At Long Last, Hard Rock Atlantic City Set To Reveal Casino’s Opening Date

The most anticipated casino opening in Atlantic City in years will soon be in the spotlight. Hard Rock International will announce this Wednesday the opening date of the Hard Rock Atlantic City hotel and casino.

The wait is almost over.

This past week, Hard Rock International revealed that it will hold three simultaneous press conferences this Wednesday announcing when the Hard Rock Atlantic City casino will open. The announcement will include what events will take place to kick off the opening of the most talked about casino launch in Atlantic City in years.

According to an article from the Press of Atlantic City, the locations of these press conferences will be the Tanger Outlets in Atlantic City, and the Hard Rock properties in Philadelphia and New York City.

Anticipation keeps growing in Atlantic City

The announcement was at once exciting and anticlimactic. Those eager to see the casino open have now been given a date to learn the details of Hard Rock Atlantic City’s opening but not the details themselves.

Past Hard Rock openings could shed light on what might be expected at the Atlantic City gala.

When Hard Rock Las Vegas opened in 2009, there was no shortage of celebrity appearances: the late Chris Cornell, Vince Neil, Aubrey O’Day, Holly Madison, and Robin Leach all attended the festivities.

Now nearly a decade old, that guest list is more an indication of the star power that can be expected and not a name-for-name roster since some of the glitterati in attendance are no longer as popular as they once were.

Regardless of which celebrities attend, there is an overall sense that the opening of Hard Rock Atlantic City is enough to dazzle those who’ve been waiting for the genesis of what many consider the flagship property of the city’s rebirth.

Atlantic City was waiting for a savior

The Hard Rock casino in AC represents the resurrection of many things, not the least of which is Atlantic City’s relevance.

After the 2014 casino contraction closed five casinos off the city’s roster of properties, the jewel of the East Coast’s gambling empire dove into an ugly financial death spiral.

By 2016, the city’s deficit was projected to be $500 million and former Mayor Dick Guardian was struggling to find a way to balance the city’s budget. Eventually, former Gov. Chris Christie could bear the ineptitude no longer.

When Guardian couldn’t produce a feasible plan for economic recovery,  Christie sent in a team of state employees and contractors to overhaul the city’s finances. The state takeover settled an outstanding tax debt owed to Borgata and helped to right the ship that was, in all its gaudy glory, taking on water.

No Deposit Bonus
$20 Free
Deposit Bonus
100% up to $1,000
Play Anywhere

   

Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is our favorite NJ online casino, and for good reason. It has more than 500 casino games (the most in New Jersey) and offers live dealer games. It also has great deposit options and an easy-to-use online and mobile interface.

Hard Rock Atlantic City buys Taj at a crucial time

Hard Rock’s role in that restorative narrative started 2017 when it announced the purchase of the Trump Taj Mahal for around $375 million.

The brand power of Hard Rock International was a welcomed addition to the Atlantic City casino industry.

In a certain sense, the purchase was hard to believe because the city was embroiled in a battle with Glenn Straub. The wealthy and cantankerous owner of the former Revel made big claims but seemed more concerned about denigrating the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and state regulations than he was about helping the city’s economic recovery. That casino has since been sold and will open this summer as the Ocean Resort Casino.

However, Hard Rock Atlantic City proved to be a legitimate bastion of progress as the company finalized the sale. In many instances, Hard Rock Atlantic City welcomed the necessary procedures needed to renovate the Taj property and appease all the requests and regulations of the city and state. The community itself became an important part of Hard Rock Atlantic City’s plans.

So what does all of this mean? Hard Rock AC has every intention of being “THE destination in a destination town” and Wednesday’s big announcement is the icing on the cake. The wait really is almost over.

Image credit: TFoxFoto / Shutterstock.com

NetEnt To Bring Its Hit Game Collection To Hard Rock AC’s NJ Online Casino

Swedish iGaming supplier NetEnt and Hard Rock Atlantic City teamed up this past week to bring NetEnt’s hit online games to the casino’s future NJ online gambling site.

Hard Rock hotels are known for playing the hits.

The company’s newest property, the Hard Rock Atlantic City, is amassing a best-of list themselves, rolling out chart-topping moves the past six months as the forthcoming hotel and casino nears its summer launch.

The good news this week? The company inked a deal with Swedish online gaming supplier NetEnt.

In a press release from NetEnt, Hard Rock’s senior vice president of online gaming Kresimir Spajic said NetEnt’s experience and quality products were just what Hard Rock was looking for.

“We are delighted to partner with NetEnt, known for its innovative and forward-thinking gaming solutions,” he said. “NetEnt’s market-leading game titles and digital casino expertise will help us drive online casino growth with our own iconic Hard Rock brand.”

Divine Fortune made NetEnt a household name

If the name NetEnt sounds familiar, it’s because they’re the company who made Divine Fortune, the online slots game that has earned quite the reputation for being loose with jackpots.

The game recently surrendered a pair of jackpots that totaled more than $200,000 during a one-week stretch between March and April.

NetEnt describes Divine Fortune as a game that “goes back in time to classical ancient Greece and a world of mythical creatures, golden coins, legendary riches and jackpots galore.”

While neither Hard Rock or NetEnt has indicated that Divine Fortune will be one of the slots they feature on Hard Rock’s forthcoming NJ gambling site, it’s hard to believe the popular game won’t be a thoroughbred in Hard Rock Ac’s iGaming stable.

NetEnt deal comes in wake of GiG partnership

Hard Rock will be working with NetEnt in a supplier relationship, which means NetEnt will supply games for the casino’s online platform.

GiG, on the other hand, is considered Hard Rock Atlantic City’s manufacturer. They’ll develop the property’s online casino and add games such as Divine Fortune to the platform.

Hard Rock AC announced its partnership with the global manufacturer this past February, a partnership that Hard Rock’s online gaming product boss Lee Terfloth told us was an easy choice because of GiG’s reputation for excellence.

“GIG’s platform is among the best I have ever seen, and the people behind it are world-class,” Terfloth said. “We are confident that, together with GIG, we can disrupt the market through product innovation and unique user experience.”

He went on to woo potential customers to the Hard Rock NJ online casino, playing up the company’s “Love All – Serve All” motto.

“We are working tirelessly to ensure that we bring (the motto) to life in the online world,” he said. “I hope everyone comes and checks us out the day we open because we have some really amazing things in store.”

No Deposit Bonus
$20 Free
Deposit Bonus
100% up to $1,000
Play Anywhere

   

Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is our favorite NJ online casino, and for good reason. It has more than 500 casino games (the most in New Jersey) and offers live dealer games. It also has great deposit options and an easy-to-use online and mobile interface.

Hard Rock Atlantic City keeps moving forward

While no specific opening date has been set, Hard Rock is already ramping up its offers.

Anyone who signs up for its Wild Card Rewards program will be entered to win a Tesla Model S.

According to the fine print, one entry is given to those who sign up for Wild Card Rewards. Additional entries can be earned through slot and table game play once the casino opens.

New Jersey Online Slots Surrender $193K, $61K Jackpots In One Week

In NJ online gambling news, two gamblers won a combined $254,000 in jackpots during a one-week stretch on PlaySugarHouse’s Divine Fortune New Jersey online slots, just another point in favor of NJ’s iGaming popularity.

New Jersey online slots continue to churn out big wins.

PlaySugarHouse.com’s notoriously loose Divine Fortune paid out two jackpots between March 26 and April 5. The first winner was a construction company superintendent from Woodbridge and the second was a teacher from Marlboro.

The combined jackpots totaled more than $250,000.

The teacher remained anonymous at the time of publishing but her excitement over the win was detailed by a SugarHouse spokesperson who relayed the woman’s elation.

“You never think this is going to happen to you but I’m proof it does,” she was quoted as saying.

Wins came on a treadmill and a first spin

The unnamed teacher went on to detail the circumstances of her win. She was at home working out on her treadmill as she played Divine Fortune on her phone.

According to a report from the Press of Atlantic City, the woman had spent all of $10 and five minutes before hitting the $61,226 jackpot.

“I was so shocked I almost fell off the treadmill,” she said.

The teacher’s win came just days after another New Jersey resident, Anibal Lopes, hit a nearly $200,000 jackpot playing the same game on the same website.

While the 10-minute win was impressive, Lopes topped the teacher by snagging his jackpot on his first spin on the New Jersey online slots.

The Associated Press picked up Lopes’s story, coaxing the following gem of a quote from the 33-year-old:

“I couldn’t believe I won that much money. I  told my wife, ‘I don’t feel well. My legs are shaking.’ She said, ‘We need to get you to the emergency room.’ I told her, ‘No, I’m not sick; I just won close to $194,000!'”

In a press release, Rush Street Interactive, the company who runs the SugarHouse site, said Lopes’ big win was the largest since the site launched in 2016. The site is affiliated with Golden Nugget Atlantic City.

“We are very happy for this latest winner that comes just one week after we had our biggest jackpot win since launching playsugarhouse.com a year and a half ago,” said Richard Schwartz, Rush Street’s president.

No Deposit Bonus
$20 Free
Deposit Bonus
100% up to $1,000
Play Anywhere

   

Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is our favorite NJ online casino, and for good reason. It has more than 500 casino games (the most in New Jersey) and offers live dealer games. It also has great deposit options and an easy-to-use online and mobile interface.

Jackpots are examples of the popularity of NJ gambling sites

Perhaps the most interesting angle in the narrative of the two jackpots is the force that is now New Jersey online gambling. Several big wins over the past 18 months have proven that patrons don’t need to set foot in a casino to earn a big pot.

Schwartz said as much in the press release, noting that the jackpots were big wins for both the players and the NJ gambling site industry.

“This is good for us and for the entire online gaming industry, showing that it is possible to win life-changing amounts online,” he said.

A new normal for New Jersey iGaming?

The two SugarHouse wins kept NJ online gambling’s hot streak going.

In 2017, there were nearly 30 jackpots of more than $75,000. Golden Nugget led the way with the biggest wins, notching four jackpots of more than $200,000, the biggest of which was an August win of more than $271,000.

Those wins were indicative of a great year for the online gambling industry in New Jersey: Revenue numbers went up around 25 percent compared to 2016.