NJ Gambling Officials Still Optimistic Despite Down Start To 2024 By Atlantic City Casinos

Written By David Danzis on February 20, 2024 - Last Updated on March 18, 2024
Gamblers play slots at Harrah's Atlantic City for a story on the January 2024 revenue report by Atlantic City casinos

After starting 2023 with a bang, land-based gambling revenue from Atlantic City casinos began 2024 with a whimper.

The city’s nine casinos collectively reported $205 million in revenue from slot machines and table games in January, according to state gambling regulators.

Based on data from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, monthly in-person revenue was down 3.1% from January 2023.

Three AC casinos keep industry afloat in January

Last month’s in-person gambling revenue reports are somewhat disappointing for Atlantic City considering its strong start to 2023, when all nine casinos were up year-over-year and the entire market increased by more than 15%.

January 2024’s results could have been even worse if not for three of the city’s casinos — Golden Nugget Atlantic City (+2.3%), Hard Rock Atlantic City (+3.9%), Ocean Casino Resort (8.3%) — posting marginal year-over-year gains.

Despite a record-setting month from NJ online casinos and legal sports betting, January’s financial returns are emblematic of a yearslong trend in Atlantic City, in which only a handful of casinos are responsible for growth in the brick-and-mortar market.

Here is a breakdown of January 2024’s in-person gambling revenue reported by Atlantic City casinos:

CasinoTotal Gaming WinTable GamesPokerSlot Machines
Hard Rock$37,317,001$10,329,846---$26,987,155
Ocean Casino$33,065,542$11,612,284---$21,453,258
Golden Nugget$11,240,595$1,933,267---$9,307,328

Comparing Atlantic City casinos to Nevada

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa joins Hard Rock and Ocean as the only properties in town generating more in-person Atlantic City revenue today than before the 2020 market shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Contrast that to Nevada, where land-based gambling revenues have exploded in the post-pandemic era.

Las Vegas Strip casinos have been up yearly since 2021, including an all-time monthly high of $909.6 million in December 2023. Even local markets off the famous Strip — such as Downtown LV, Sparks, Reno and Mesquite — are continuously growing, according to state gambling data.

Nonetheless, NJ gambling officials remain optimistic. James Plousis , chairman of the Casino Control Commission, lauded last month as the second-best January result in 11 years. Both online casinos and online sports betting have helped provide a “competitive advantage” for Atlantic City operators, especially during the traditional offseason.

“The operators have invested millions of dollars adding attractions and amenities, as well as enhancing their world-class hotels, to create memorable in-person experiences for the upcoming tourism season.”

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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