Despite the nine Atlantic City casinos being restricted to 25% capacity, they made 3% more gross gaming and sports betting revenue year-over-year, when there were no coronavirus restrictions. What made this possible was the success of online casino gaming and sports betting.
Unfortunately, slot and table game revenues at the land-based casinos were down by nearly $34 million to just a little more than $190 million year-over-year. However, online casino revenue topped $87 million this September, $46.5 million more than last September.
Sports betting revenue for the Atlantic City casinos dropped by a little more than $4 million, to $13.5 million in September. However, the Meadowlands Racetrack sports betting revenue (excluding horse race bets) increased by nearly 50% to more than $28 million.
The most impressive number was New Jersey’s sports betting handle; the combined sports betting revenue of the state’s racetracks, casinos, and online sportsbooks raked in more than $748.5 million during the first month of NFL competition. That broke all monthly records for any state.
Online Casinos and Sports Betting are Consistent Winners
The consistent success of New Jersey’s online casino numbers is truly impressive.
The revenue figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for the last half of 2019 ranged between $41 million and $49 million. By the first two months of 2020, that revenue jumped from $52 million to $55 million. When Governor Phil Murphy closed the casinos in mid-March, online casino revenue jumped to $65 million. By April, it increased to $80 million April, and online casino revenue has remained above that ever since.
While the brick-and-mortar Atlantic City casinos are opening at 25%, online casinos are going strong, with more than $87.5 million in September. That represents a stable source of revenue for the casinos as the fall and winter “offseason” is beginning.
Atlantic City Continues to Struggle
Unfortunately, online casino revenue doesn’t help the thousands of casino workers who remain unemployed. Atlantic City’s poker dealers must be thinking of moving to Pennsylvania, as some casinos in that state have resumed live poker on the casino floor.
Speaking of poker, New Jersey’s online poker websites reported their worst month since the COVID-19 shutdowns began, but September was still was a good month in a year-over-year comparison. Pennsylvania’s online poker sites have performed better.
According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, New Jersey’s three online poker websites saw an increase of nearly 56% compared to last September. While that’s not bad, it was the weakest growth in the online poker market since March.
The loss of jobs naturally results in a loss of discretionary income, leading to lost revenues across the state’s economy at large. Moreover, continued coronavirus restrictions do not help businesses such as restaurants and movie theaters.
While the casinos may be able to survive this winter with the help of their online casinos, as well as reduced payrolls, the people of Atlantic City can not. The casinos and every business to open fully, and that logic also applies to Las Vegas and the US economy at large.
September’s Big Winners
Ocean Casino’s brick-and-mortar revenue was up by 27% to more than $26 million. While Ocean surpassed Tropicana and Harrah’s percentages, Ocean came in third for the month with overall revenue.
The increase in online casino revenue helped every property in Atlantic City, especially Borgata’s, which increased from less than $7 million to more than $20 million. Golden Nugget maintained its status as the market leader for its online casino with $26 million.
Are you a New Jersey resident interested in playing online in our state and taking advantage of the best offers? Check out our curated list of NJ casinos, NJ sportsbooks, and online bonuses. And if you are a poker player, please check our list of Best Poker Sites in New Jersey.