Atlantic City casino revenue from table games and slots increased nearly 28% in October over last year, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Last month, Atlantic City’s nine casinos reported $237.5 million in land-based gambling revenue, easily outperforming a COVID-restricted October 2020 ($186.1 million).
However, the casinos’ in-person gambling revenues were 17% higher than in October 2019, suggesting Atlantic City casinos are rebounding from the economic calamity caused by COVID-19.
Last month was the best October for Atlantic City land-based gambling revenue since 2011. That year, 11 casinos combined to report $261.7 million.
NJ online gaming generated $127 million in revenue last month. Sports betting revenue reported by Atlantic City casinos was $28.5 million.
October’s $393.1 million in total gaming revenue is 29% more than October 2020 ($304.1 million) and almost 48% higher than the same month in 2019 ($266.2 million).
Atlantic City casino revenue trending up
Gaming officials and analysts say October’s gaming revenue numbers highlight a recent trend pointing to an escalating recovery for Atlantic City casinos.
Since July, land-based gambling revenue reported by the casinos has compared favorably to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
“Atlantic City has effectively extended its momentum from the summer into the fall season,” said James Plousis, chairman of the N.J. Casino Control Commission. “All of the operators have the tools that are needed to successfully compete in this market.”
Here’s a breakdown of Atlantic City casino revenue in October 2021:
|Casino||Table & Other||Poker||Slot Machines||Total Gaming Win|
|Golden Nugget||$2,669,146||$ -||$11,616,754||$14,285,900|
|Hard Rock||$9,345,072||$ -||$28,102,717||$37,447,789|
|Ocean Casino||$9,094,879||$ -||$21,038,240||$30,133,119|
Jersey Shore shines in October
New Jersey’s coronavirus-related restrictions stymied Atlantic City’s early recovery in late-2020 and into this year. But, since Independence Day weekend, Atlantic City casinos have been operating unencumbered.
Jane Bokunewicz, faculty director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT) at Stockton University, said October’s results put Atlantic City “on par with a post-Covid recovery that has been experienced in most other U.S. gaming jurisdictions.”
“Customers’ eagerness to return to in-person gaming and entertainment experiences along with the addition of more entertainment options, as restrictions have been lifted, contributed to another positive month in the resort,” she said.
Atlantic City gambling revenue in 2021
Year-to-date, Atlantic City casino revenue is slightly more than $2.1 billion from in-person gambling. That figure is only 5% less than the $2.25 billion reported through the same period two years ago.
The big difference between 2019 and 2021 is online gaming and sports betting. Those two segments have dramatically increased the industry’s reported total gaming revenue this year.
Through October 2019, iGaming revenue was $384.2 million for the year. Online gaming has generated $1.1 billion in 2021, an increase of 190%.
Similarly, sports betting has grown exponentially in the last two years.
Two years ago, AC casinos had reported $95.7 million from sports gambling through October. So far this year, the casinos’ sports betting revenue is $243 million, an increase of 154%.
As a result, year-to-date total gaming revenue in 2021 is $3.5 billion, 28% more than 2019.
AP Photo/Wayne Parry