With the state of New Jersey under a stay-at-home order until further notice, Atlantic City casinos remain shuttered.
While this is a huge blow for the gambling industry, thankfully, New Jersey online casinos provide another revenue stream for the gaming companies.
NJ online casinos help but won’t overcome big deficits
AC casinos saw an instant impact on their bottom line. Before the closure, casinos enjoyed a 21-month streak of revenue growth.
During the first month of the lockdown, the casinos saw a 47% drop from March of last year. However, despite the decline, online gaming revenue saw an increase of over 65% from that period.
David Schwartz, a gambling historian with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told KRCR News that the deep declines were expected.
“While there will be some revenue coming in from online sources, the cessation of live casino gaming caused numbers to sharply plummet, and they will take some time to increase, even after the shutdowns end.”
The $64.8 million that was earned through online gaming during the first month of the quarantine is a nice buffer. The casinos certainly welcome the revenue during these trying times.
However, when we factor in the $124 million in total gambling revenue lost, it shows a bleaker outlook for the casinos.
The longer that the brick-and-mortar casinos remain closed, the harder it will be for the corporations that own them to reopen.
With that being said, the online casinos that bring more to the table in regards to customer acquisition will be better equipped to weather the storm.
Memorial Day is important for AC casinos
Memorial Day weekend, which is the kickoff to summer and Atlantic City’s biggest money-making season, is about a month away. If the casinos have any chance of surviving, they need to reopen around this time in some fashion.
Of course, that means a plan that involves any and all social distancing and cleaning guidelines. Only relying on online casino revenue will become less and less feasible as months go by.
Two major employers in South Jersey, AtlantiCare and the Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ), announced a battle plan last week.
CANJ President Steve Callender spoke to NJBIZ about the plan.
“We want Atlantic City to be ready to open as soon as the government determines it is appropriate to do so.
“That is why we are working with our regional health care provider to develop a comprehensive plan that ensures our properties are prepared and ready to reopen when the stay-at-home order is lifted.”