ATLANTIC CITY — New Jersey’s casinos, horse tracks that offer sports betting, and the online partners of both types of gambling outlets won over $445 million in October, a decline of less than 1% from the same period a year earlier.
Figures released Thursday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement showed that news for the most important metric for the Atlantic City casino industry was mixed: Money won from in-person gamblers at the casinos fell by more than 7% from a year earlier, but had surpassed the level of October 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
“In keeping with established seasonal patterns, total and brick-and-mortar casino revenue — slots, table games and poker — for Atlantic City’s casinos began to cool in October,” said Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University, which studies the Atlantic City gambling industry.
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But she also noted that in-person gambling winnings for the first 10 months of this year ($2.35 billion) are running 4.5% ahead of the amount won over the same 10 months in 2019.
The nine casinos won $220.6 million from in-person gamblers in October. That is the key metric for the industry, which is also aided by winnings from sports betting and internet gamblers.
But casino executives say those alternative revenue streams are misleading, in that much of it must be shared with third parties including sports books and tech providers.
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They are particularly concerned with getting back to and surpassing pre-pandemic business levels, something the casinos collectively achieved in October, although not everyone succeeded.
Four casinos — Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, Ocean Casino Resort and Resorts Casino Hotel — had higher in-person revenue last month than they did in October 2019. The remaining five — Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Tropicana Atlantic City — had less of this type of revenue.
In terms of in-person revenue, Borgata won $62.4 million, up 1.2% from a year ago; Hard Rock won $38.9 million, up 4%; Ocean won $28.3 million, down 6.1%, and Harrah’s won $20.2 million, down more than 17% from a year earlier.
Caesars won $17.5 million from in-person gamblers, also down more than 17%; Tropicana won $17.3 million, down 18.3%; Resorts won $12.9 million, down 11.6%; Golden Nugget won just over $12 million, down 15.8%, and Bally’s won $10.8 million, down 13.4%.
The Casino Association of New Jersey released figures Thursday showing that Bally’s, Caesars and Tropicana were all down 20% from October 2019 levels of in-person gambling winnings, while Golden Nugget was down close to 19% and Harrah’s was down nearly 16%.
The association, which is the trade group for the Atlantic City casinos, also noted that only three casinos — Hard Rock, Borgata and Ocean — have won more from in-person gamblers over the first 10 months of this year than they did over the first 10 months of 2019.
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When internet gambling and sports betting revenue are added, Borgata won nearly $113 million in October, up 4% from a year ago; Golden Nugget won $50.3 million, up 3%; Hard Rock won $44.1 million, down half a percent; and Ocean won $31.5 million, down 2%.
Tropicana won $25.3 million, down 18.7%; Harrah’s won $20.3 million, down 16.4%; Caesars won just over $18 million, down 17.5%; Bally’s won %15.5 million, up 20%, and Resorts won nearly $13 million, down 11.5%.
Internet gambling brought in $147.1 million in October, up nearly 16% from a year earlier. Among internet-only entities, Resorts Digital won $56.5 million, up 25%, and Caesars Interactive NJ won nearly $9.2 million, up 2.6%
Sports betting broke the $1 billion mark in terms of the total amount wagered for the seventh time. Of that amount, nearly $78 million was kept as revenue by casinos and racetracks after paying off winning bets and other expenses.