Casinos See Modest Gains In Atlantic City, But Only Two Properties Improved From 5 Years Ago

Written By David Danzis on April 18, 2024 - Last Updated on May 9, 2024
Gamblers play slots at Harrah's Atlantic City for a story on March 2024 revenue reported by casinos in Atlantic City

March was one of the better months Atlantic City casinos have been able to claim in quite some time, as year-over-year in-person gambling revenue increased for eight of the nine properties in town.

In fact, March 2024 was the best March for AC casinos since 2012, when there were 12 casinos at the Jersey Shore. It is a modest win for a market and a land-based casino industry that is on a bit of a losing streak lately.

On the other hand, only two operators did better in March 2024 than in March 2019.

For the year, land-based gambling revenue, or casino win, is essentially flat (+0.1%) compared to the same period in 2023. According to data released this week by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement, Atlantic City casinos generated nearly $239.8 million in revenue last month, representing a 4.9% YoY increase.

Exploring the top tier of Atlantic City casino revenue

Total gaming revenue — the sum of AC casino win, online gambling and sports wagering — for the month was $468.1 million, a 6.1% increase over March 2023. Online casinos in NJ set a new monthly record in March with $197.2 million in revenue (+19% YoY).

Back on land, AC’s largest and best-performing property, Borgata Atlantic City, was the only operator to report a YoY decline (-8.1%) in March, according to data from the DGE. The MGM Resorts property generated $56.5 million from its casino floor. Year-to-date, Borgata’s land-based gambling revenues are down 5.4% compared to the first three months of 2023.

The other two high-performers in the market, Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort, posted the biggest gains. Ocean won nearly $40.7 million from tables and slots last month, a 17.6% YoY (+$6.1M) increase. Hard Rock, meanwhile, won almost $44.4 million, a YoY bump of 11% (+$4.4M).

Through March, Ocean is up 14.7%, and Hard Rock is up 8.3% over the same three-month period last year.

The two Boardwalk casinos were the only AC operators to generate more in-person gambling revenue in March 2024 than in March 2019. And they did so in such convincing fashion (+$45.3M) that they made up for the rest of the market’s collective declines (-$28.7M).

Some other notable wins in March for casinos in AC

Bally’s Atlantic City and Golden Nugget Atlantic City also reported double-digit percentage increases in year-over-year revenue. Bally’s won $11.7 million (+11.2% YoY), while Golden Nugget took in $13.7 million (+11.4%).

However, while the Marina District casino (Golden Nugget) is up 5.1% year-to-date, the coastal casino with the most famous address in the world (Bally’s sits at Boardwalk and Park Place) is down 5.5% compared to 2023.

The city’s first legal gambling hall, Resorts Atlantic City, generated $13.4 million last month, a respectable 5.9% YoY increase. Compared to the previous year, Resorts is running even, having reported just 0.4% more in 2024.

Trio of AC casinos trending up last month, down for the year

Reno-based Caesars Entertainment’s three Atlantic City casinos — Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Atlantic City and Tropicana Atlantic City — all posted year-over-year gains in March 2024, a welcome change for a trio of properties that have been underperforming of late.

The company’s flagship property, Caesars Atlantic City, won $18.5 million from gamblers last month. The 7.9% YoY increase represents a tangible gain of just $1.4 million. Year-to-date, the property is down 4.8%.

Tropicana’s in-person gambling revenue increased 2.5% to $19.8 million for the month, while Harrah’s reported monthly in-person revenue of $21 million in the Marina, a 2% YoY gain.

Land-based revenue at Trop is down 5.7% YTD, while Harrah’s is experiencing a decline of 11.2%.

Photo by Wayne Parry / AP Photo
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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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