Atlantic City casino revenue showed signs of a post-pandemic recovery in September, with both in-person and online gambling numbers trending upward.
For the first time since the global pandemic upended Atlantic City’s casino industry in early 2020, all three reported monthly revenue streams — land-based, online, and sports betting — increased compared to two years ago.
According to data released Monday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Atlantic City’s nine casinos generated $248.5 million from tables and slots last month, up more than 30% from 2020 and nearly 11% from 2019.
Online gaming set a new monthly record in September with nearly $122.6 million in reported revenue. iGaming revenue is up almost 40% over last year and almost 200% more than 2019.
Sports betting also set new monthly highs in the amount gambled and revenue in September.
‘Strong recovery’ for Atlantic City casino revenue
After a slow start to 2021, Atlantic City casino revenue is slowly returning to anticipated levels. The combination of eased coronavirus restrictions at Atlantic City casinos and the massive gains from online play is driving total gaming revenue increases.
Total gaming revenue — the sum of land-based, online, and sports betting — was $405.15 million in September for Atlantic City casinos. That represents a 39% increase over 2020 and 43% higher than 2019.
Year-to-date, total gaming revenue is $3.1 billion, which is well ahead (+71.5%) of the industry’s pace in 2020.
“Atlantic City is enjoying a strong recovery,” said NJ Casino Control Commission Chairman James Plousis. “September’s results demonstrate that in-person casino gaming and internet gaming are a winning combination. Atlantic City’s many options are appealing to different segments of the gaming public and can be a formula for its success.”
Mother Nature and Lady Luck are both smiling on AC
September is often a good weather month at the Jersey Shore, but 2021 was particularly pleasant. Weekend temperatures were above average and dry.
Crowds flocked to Atlantic City and the casinos for concerts and other live events.
“Mild weather and declining COVID infection rates seem to have extended the season for resort visitors,” said Jane Bokunewicz, faculty director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT) at Stockton University.
This year may be one of the best shoulder seasons in recent memory, Bokunewicz said, if the current Atlantic City casino revenue growth trends continue.
“With mild weather continuing into October, and indications that the worst of the pandemic may finally be behind us, we should expect to see strong land-based revenue numbers into the fall even as other revenue streams — sports betting and internet gaming — continue to generate solid revenue for operators,” she said.
Atlantic City casino revenue by operator
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa sits atop the Atlantic City market in all three revenue categories. The land-based casino generated $60.2 million, online added $32 million, and sports betting accounted for $13.4 million last month.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City reported over $41 million in land-based revenue, a year-over-year increase of nearly 44%.
Ocean Casino Resort was third in terms of land-based revenue last month, reporting just over $29 million.
Caesars Entertainment’s three Atlantic City properties each eclipsed $20 million in revenue from tables and slots. September’s total for Caesars AC was $22 million, Harrah’s Resort AC $27.5 million, and Tropicana AC $24.4 million.
Resorts Casino Hotel reported $17.3 million. Bally’s AC generated $14.1 million. And Golden Nugget AC’s $13 million rounds out September’s in-person gambling revenue.
|Casino||Table & Other||Poker||Slot Machines||Total Gaming Win|
|Golden Nugget||$1,814,273||$ -||$11,129,900||$12,944,173|
|Hard Rock||$11,631,047||$ -||$29,443,684||$41,074,731|
|Ocean Casino||$7,890,350||$ -||$21,185,164||$29,075,514|
AP Photo/Wayne Parry