The Future For Atlantic City Casinos Looks Bright
According to the Division of Gaming Enforcement, the state government division which regulates the state’s gambling and sports betting industries, the state’s casinos raked in $3.29 billion in bets according to ESPN.
Last year’s totals are the first time since 2012 that Atlantic City’s casinos made more than $3 billion. That was before five casinos in the city closed, nearly leading to financial ruin for the Garden State’s seaside resort town.
“There’s a lot of positive momentum going forward into the new year,” said James Plousis. Plousis chairs the state’s Casino Control Commission.
In related news, gamblers in New Jersey bet $4.5 billion on sports in 2019, $3.8 billion of which was bet online from home computers and mobile apps, according to the Division of Gaming Enforcement. The remainder was bet at the in-person sportsbooks at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park racetracks, as well as at the Atlantic City casinos.
More good news for the Garden State, gamblers bet more at the Atlantic City sportsbooks than in the entire state of Nevada for the months of April, May and August 2019.
“Atlantic City had another fabulous year, with the city’s gaming revenue up for 19 months in a row,” observed Rummy Pandit, head of the LLoyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton University. “In fact, internet gaming and sports betting have continued to grow gambling revenues throughout 2019, and we expect corresponding growth in 2020.”
Atlantic City Casinos Rise Like the Phoenix
As the casinos make a comeback in Atlantic City, state lawmakers also want to make sure past mistakes are not repeated. A recent hearing in Trenton took a look at everything from the tax rates the state collects from casino revenue to the travel ease for visitors to the resort city. Legislative efforts are underway to make sure the casinos are integrated into the community so that as the casinos prosper, the rest of the city does too.
“The real issue is that the casinos understand that they are intertwined with the success of Atlantic City as a municipality,” observed David Rebuck, director of the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Five thousand jobs have been produced by the resurgence of the casinos, and those jobs represent not only the workers, but also their families. The truth is, the gambling revenue produced by the city’s nine casinos, and, hopefully, soon, additional casinos throughout the state trickles down to every aspect of the city’s economy. Visitors to the casinos also spend money at the city’s restaurants, shops, and seaside attractions. Without a doubt, the success of Atlantic City as a whole, rests on the success of the casinos.
From a financial standpoint, Rebuck observed that the casino industry is currently providing Atlantic City with $132 million in annual revenue. That money comes into the city’s coffers through payment-in-lieu-of-taxes. The state also taxes gross gambling revenue at a rate of 8.5 percent, with an additional 1.25 percent tax that generates revenues to help Atlantic City pay down its debt. Finally, new taxes on sports betting and online gambling further benefit both the municipality and the state.
Finally, Rebuck noted that the key to success for both the city and the casinos is continuing to focus on diversifying the revenue stream, by highlighting entertainment and dining as well as gambling.
“It’s certain, people have many different interests when going into a casino, other than traditional gambling,” Rebuck said. “The more the casinos diversify their interest in nongaming and the more they have to offer, the more that is going to help them, and the city.”
You may also be interested in reading the following stories: