The revitalization of Atlantic City is more than just talk. And just so it is clear, it also is not limited to a booming Boardwalk.
One key finding from the latest jackpot report issued by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) each month puts the money where its mouth is … literally.
Atlantic City casinos have paid out more money to its players through jackpots in 2018 so far then it did in all of 2017. In fact, it has paid out more in the first eight months of the year than it has in any of the previous three years.
Before you pop the champagne, it is important to note that a change in how the DGE reports jackpots is responsible for the good news. Even so, the news is still positive.
Comparing apples to apples
A total of nearly $22 million in slots and online jackpots found its way back into casino gamblers’ pockets through Aug. 15, 2018.
Now compare that to all of 2016, when $21.9 million worth of jackpots made its way into casino players’ hands. In 2015, AC casinos paid out $20.9 million in jackpot winnings.
For the 30-day period ending on Aug. 15, the resort’s nine casino properties paid out nearly $3 million in jackpots.
This year, state regulators gathered and released data using jackpots of $50,000 or more. In previous years, it reported on prizes of $75,000 or more.
Excluding jackpots of less than $75,000 from the total results means the jackpot total is just $15.1 million. Not quite as impressive of a number on the surface.
However, that figure still puts the casinos on track to beat last year’s jackpot payouts.
Some casinos are writing more checks than others
Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City wrote the largest check so far this year when a player hit a $1.67 million jackpot on the 25-cent Wheel of Fortune Pink Diamond machine. It was the only seven-figure payday so far this year.
There were 224 jackpots of more than $50,000 reported, and Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa wrote the most checks (56) of any Atlantic City casino. It delivered a whopping $5.197 million back to its customers.
Here are how the other Atlantic City casinos fared:
- Caesars Atlantic City with 41 jackpots
- Tropicana Atlantic City with 22 jackpots
- Golden Nugget Atlantic City with 16 jackpots
- Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City with 16 jackpots
- Resorts Casino Hotel with eight jackpots
- Bally’s Atlantic City with seven jackpots
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino celebrated their grand openings on June 28. Hard Rock has paid out two jackpots of more than $50,000 since then. Ocean Resort is still waiting to write its first big check.
NJ online casinos are also paying out
Harrah’s online casino paid out $687,785 to a player taking a chance on the Gods of Gold virtual slot machine. The jackpot was the second-largest of the year so far. That makes Harrah’s the casino that signed on the dotted line for the two most substantial checks so far this year.
Overall, NJ online casinos are credited with awarding 55 of the 224 total jackpots of $50,000 or more.
The leading online casino, Golden Nugget, awarded the most online jackpots of $50,000 or more with 17. Its partner casinos, Betfair NJ online casino and SugarHouse, accounted for another 20, with 12 and eight respectively.
The other online casinos paying jackpots are:
- PlayMGM with eight jackpots
- Borgata Casino online with four jackpots
- Caesars online with two jackpots
- Mohegan Sun with two jackpots
The following sites each paid out one online casino jackpot of more than $50,000:
The bottom line is it pays to play where other players play. Borgata is the leading land-based casino regarding, and Golden Nugget is the leading online casino. Both operators wrote the most checks of more than $50,000 for their category.
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The more players play, statistically the more likely it is someone will hit it big.