Bad Weather Hurts Atlantic City Gaming Revenue Again

Written By Bart Shirley on March 20, 2018

Atlantic City casino revenue numbers in February 2018 were 8.9 percent lower than the numbers from February 2017. The likely culprit for the decline is a second consecutive month of brutal winter storms in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement announced that casino win for February 2018 was $170.1 million. This number was $16.5 million lower than the revenue from February 2017.

The DGE’s report also reflected that industry revenue in the first two months of 2018 was down 10.8 percent compared to the same period in 2017. Atlantic City casinos made $40.1 million more in January and February 2017 than they did the past two months.

Atlantic City weather has kept patrons away from the casinos

The reason for the decrease in revenue is quite simple. Nor’easters have blasted Atlantic City in the months of January and February. And more snow on is in the forecast this week.

The first, and perhaps most potent, of these storms hit the eastern seaboard in early January. Dubbed the “bomb cyclone” by some observers, the storm dumped a foot of snow across most of New England.

The storm killed 22 people. The system’s radar signature resembled that of a hurricane, and fittingly, the storm’s winds reached hurricane force.

Another big storm plowed through the region in mid-February. This storm, called Winter Storm Noah, broke a six-week respite from rough weather with another round of rain, wind and snow.

Since then, a near-constant succession of storms has raked across New England. Several feet of snow and ice have made travel dangerous throughout the region.

Residents of the Northeast have also suffered through brutally cold temperatures during this period. At times, the area was ten degrees below its normal temperatures for January and February.


Online gambling is the silver lining to the clouds

The only bright spot throughout this period has been online gambling. The NJ DGE reported that February 2018 internet gaming win was $22 million.

This figure reflected an increase from last February’s $18.7 million figure. The spike represented a 17.5 percent jump in revenue. It was a new record for the state.

The online gambling figures also helped to partially mitigate the setbacks on the land side of things. The total gaming win in February (including online gambling) was down 6.5 percent, a somewhat more palatable figure than the 8.9 percent reduction in brick-and-mortar gambling.

Unfortunately, forecasters say that March 2018 could be the same or worse than the previous two months. The fourth nor’easter of the season is coming this week.

Forecasters also say more storms are possible for the remainder of March. Ironically, March 20 is the traditional first day of spring. However, Mother Nature keeps her own schedule.

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Casinos’ performance

Not shockingly, Borgata continues to hold a massive lead among all casinos. With Borgata online casino included, gaming revenue came in at just under $59 million. That’s down only about five percent year over year.

Tropicana also did less poorly than other casinos in AC. It’s total gaming revenue (with Tropicana online casino included) of $29 million was second best in the state, and down just $2 million year over year.

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a writer and poker player from Houston, Texas. When he's not teaching high school math and business, Bart writes about the NJ online casino industry and US online poker. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.

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