Atlantic City’s Two New Casinos Are Growing, Not Cannibalizing, The Market

Posted By Steve Ruddock on September 28, 2018 - Last Updated on February 9, 2021

The Atlantic City gaming industry is in full growth mode.

August was one of the best months in recent memory for the Atlantic City casino industry, as total gaming revenue flirted with $300 million for the second consecutive month, thanks to near across the board year-over-year growth:

  • Land-based casino revenue grew by 20.7 percent
  • Online gaming revenue was up 16.6 percent
  • Total gaming revenue grew by 1 percent

That growth was made possible by:

  • The continued growth of online gaming revenue
  • The late-June openings of two land-based casinos
  • The launch of land-based and online sports betting

New Atlantic City casinos are growing the market

The new casinos, Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino, are having the biggest impact.

Together they generated more than $50 million in August, which led to the 20.7 percent rise in land-based casino revenue.

More importantly, most of that $50 million the two properties generated was new revenue.

Same-store land-based casino revenue (removing Hard Rock and Ocean Resort) was down two percent for the month. That means the two new casinos have delivered on their promise to grow the market and not simply grab market share by cannibalizing existing operators.

Two different paths up the same mountain

Hard Rock AC and Ocean Resort are also holding their own individually. Out of the nine casinos, Hard Rock is fourth in terms of revenue and Ocean is seventh. Not bad for casinos that are just over two months old.

But each is accomplishing it in very different ways.

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Hard Rock AC came out of the gates swinging

Hard Rock has already established itself as a competitor to any Atlantic City casino not named Borgata.

The former Trump Taj Mahal tallied $32.4 million and $30.8 million in land-based revenue in July and August respectively, putting it squarely in the first trail pack.

That gives Hard Rock a similar market share to the far more established, and successful, Harrah’s and Tropicana.

Ocean Resort is the tortoise to Hard Rock’s hare

Ocean Resort, for its part, doesn’t have the brand recognition or the customer database of Hard Rock, so it’s not surprising to see the former Revel lumped in with some of the city’s smaller casinos when it comes to gaming revenue.

That said, while Hard Rock seems to have begun its life closer to its ceiling (thanks to massive concerts and shows and leveraging its brand), Ocean has plenty of room to grow.

As seen in the chart below, Ocean Resort was the only AC casino that significantly grew its land-based revenue month-over-month from July to August.

That’s a really good sign for Ocean Resort Casino moving forward, particularly if Ocean can do the unthinkable and sustain growth into the fall and winter months. Atlantic City casinos will be applauding into the new year.

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Steve Ruddock

Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.

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