Atlantic City Casinos Enjoy December Spike To Finish 2023 On A High Note

Written By David Danzis on January 17, 2024 - Last Updated on January 19, 2024
patrons play slots at ocean casino resort for a story on december 2023 revenue from atlantic city casinos

Eight of the nine Atlantic City casinos closed out 2023 with higher in-person monthly gambling revenue. The majority of the market, however, was down slightly for the year.

According to the most recent data from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, casinos in Atlantic City generated just under $232.5 million in revenue in December, a collective year-over-year increase of 7.8%. Last month, only Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, the market’s best-performing property, failed to exceed December 2022’s returns.

For the year, Atlantic City casino in-person gambling revenue was up 2.2% compared to 2022. The industry’s $2.85 billion from slot machines and table games in 2023 is the highest annual total since 2013 ($2.86 billion).

However, only four of the city’s casinos posted better annual in-person gambling revenues in 2023 compared to the prior year, and the YoY increases at two of those properties was less than 1%. The other five casinos declined anywhere from 1.5% to 3.3%.

Top 3 Atlantic City casinos sit atop the World’s Playground

As has been the trend for the better part of two decades, Borgata remained the market leader despite having an uncharacteristic dip in December. The Marina District casino kept $58.8 million from in-person gamblers, a 2.9% decrease from December 2022. For the year, Borgata reported $729.7 million from tables and slots, up 0.7% from 2022.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort, both of which celebrated their five-year anniversaries in 2023, have firmly staked out their territory in Atlantic City.

In December, Hard Rock generated $44.9 million, a healthy 19.9% YoY increase. Hard Rock AC netted $512.4 million in 2023, an annual increase of 4.1%.

Meanwhile, Ocean was the market’s biggest mover in 2023, increasing YoY land-based gambling revenue by 16.3%. Ocean finished the year with $415 million in annual revenue. The Boardwalk casino generated $33.1 million in revenue last month, according to DGE data, a 12.4% increase over December 2022.

CasinoTotal Gaming WinTable GamesPokerSlot Machines
Hard Rock$44,890,814$13,279,030---$31,611,784
Ocean Casino$33,136,603$8,431,772---$24,704,831
Golden Nugget$11,033,660$1,463,642---$9,570,018

The empire at the middle of the pack

Last month’s performance by the three AC casinos operated by Caesars Entertainment mirrored their results for much of 2023.

Caesars Atlantic City posted $18.8 million in revenue, up 13.2% over last year. The flagship East Coast property for the Reno-based Caesars generated $231.4 million in revenue last year, down 1.7% from the prior year.

Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City reported $20.9 million in December, a 3.1% YoY increase. For the year, Harrah’s dropped 1.5% from 2022, posting annual revenue of $254.1 million.

Meanwhile, Tropicana Atlantic City jumped nearly 15% last month compared to a year prior, with revenue of $21 million. But, Trop’s annual gambling revenue declined 3.3% to $240.6 million.

Smaller AC casinos, smaller expectations met

Bally’s Atlantic City can count 2023 as a successful year, having increased land-based revenue in most months. Bally’s reported $11.5 million in revenue in December, rising 5.1% year-over-year. For the year, Bally’s AC was up 0.8% over 2022 with nearly $155.2 million in revenue.

The city’s first casino, Resorts Casino Hotel, generated $12.5 million in December, a YoY increase of 11%. The Boardwalk casino netted $163.5 million last year, a decline of roughly 2% from 2022.

Golden Nugget Atlantic City, the city’s smallest casino hotel, generated just over $11 million last month, a 1.3% increase from a year earlier. The Nugget generated $146.1 million from land-based gaming in 2023, a decrease of nearly 2% from the previous year.

Context (still) matters in Atlantic City

Total gambling revenue — the sum of AC casino win, internet gaming and sports wagering — increased 14.7% last month compared to December 2022.

For the year, total gambling revenue generated more than $5.2 billion. For context, NJ online casino revenue increased 15.7% year-over-year, and sports betting in New Jersey (only associated with AC casinos and their digital partners) increased 60.6% in 2023 compared to 2022.

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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