In March 2018, Atlantic City casino revenue exceeded the figures from February 2018. However, numbers are still down compared to the marks set in 2017.
According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, land-based casino win was $192.9 million in the month of March. This figure exceeded February’s win tally by $22.8 million.
In fact, this past month was Atlantic City’s best month so far, surpassing January’s numbers by $30.5 million. However, these are not apples-to-apples comparisons; March is historically more successful than the two previous months.
It is far more instructive to examine the revenue figures from the same period in 2017. March 2017’s land-based win was $200.1 million, 3.6 percent higher than 2018’s number.
Overall, land-based casino revenue has been lower in 2018 than the previous year. Year-to-date returns decreased 8.3 percent from 2017.
The likely culprit for this setback is the weather. Four nor’easters in three weeks pounded the East Coast in March.
Multiple inches of snowfall likely dampened the enthusiasm to drive to the casino. Similar snowstorms in January and February, though not as numerous, produced lower figures as well.
Gains in NJ iGaming revenue have mitigated the damage somewhat
The dim picture from the land-based side has been bolstered somewhat by healthy online revenues. As we reported last week, March 2018 smashed internet win records and soared past $25 million for the month.
Four out of the five operators performed better year-over-year in March 2018. Golden Nugget online casino posted a whopping $8 million in revenues, and the three other gainers went over $4 million.
Even the lone laggard, Tropicana, only declined from $3.9 million to $3.7 million. The composite March revenue of $25.6 million represented a $3.9 million increase from March 2017.
Those gains helped to defray the beating that the brick-and-mortar side took. Overall, total casino win (land and online) is down 5.9 percent in 2018.
This figure isn’t great, but the online side chipped away 2.4 percent of the land-based deficit. So, those in search of silver linings can hang their hats on loss mitigation.
A deeper dive into the Atlantic City casino revenue picture
All seven Atlantic City casinos did better in March 2018 than in the previous month. This fact is not as instructive as it seems, however.
A year-over-year comparison between March 2018 and March 2017 at the individual property level yields greater insight about each property’s performance and health.
|Property||March 2018 Revenue||March 2017 Revenue||Change %|
|Bally’s Park Place||$ 15,785,895||$ 17,030,524||-7.3%|
|Borgata||$ 60,290,786||$ 59,945,330||0.6%|
|Caesars AC||$ 21,906,471||$ 29,283,211||-25.2%|
|Golden Nugget||$ 19,455,105||$ 16,536,736||17.6%|
|Harrah’s||$ 31,658,322||$ 29,597,325||7.0%|
|Resorts||$ 14,831,510||$ 16,337,223||-9.2%|
|Tropicana||$ 28,989,316||$ 31,383,109||-7.6%|
So, Borgata, Golden Nugget, and Harrah’s had better months compared to one year prior, in opposition to the overall trend. However, the setbacks suffered at the other four properties, particularly Caesars, were too great to overcome in the aggregate.
There are two bits of good news to keep in mind going forward for Atlantic City casino revenue. The first is that two brand-new properties will open their doors within a few months.
Rather than cannibalize the existing business, the hope is that Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino will renew interest in America’s Playground. (Hard Rock Atlantic City announced its grand opening date recently.) At least one authority sees positive inflow in Atlantic City’s future.
The other good news is that the storms can’t last forever. Even the weather can’t stop summer from bringing warmth and sunshine to the coast.
Let’s hope it comes sooner rather than later.