Atlantic City’s casinos won $211.6 million from in-person gamblers in January, up 15.3% from a year ago.
But only three of the nine casinos won more that way last month than they did in January 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic erupted.
When revenue from internet gambling and sports betting is included, the casinos, horse tracks that take sports bets, and the online partners of both those types of businesses won $436.8 million, up 14.5% from a year ago.
Casino executives say revenue figures from internet gambling and sports betting — most of which is done online — are misleading in that the revenue generated from those forms of gambling is not solely for the casinos to keep; they must share as much as 70% of it with third parties, including sports books and tech platforms.
January is usually the weakest month for the city’s casinos, and this year’s relatively strong performance could augur well for a good full year in 2023, said Jane Bokunewicz, faculty director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which studies the Atlantic City gambling market.
“Even considering only brick-and-mortar (revenue), Atlantic City’s casino operators have reason to be hopeful,” she said.
In-person gambling revenue, which the casinos consider their core business and most important economic indicator, surpassed the level of January 2020 just before the virus began spreading widely ($192.1 million). It approached January monthly revenues not seen since 2012 ($245.9 million) and 2011 ($255.4 million), when there were more Atlantic City casinos in operation, and no sports wagering or online gambling, Bokunewicz said.
In terms of in-person casino revenue, the Borgata won $58.3 million, up 20.6% from January 2022. Hard Rock won $35.9 million, up 3.4%; the Ocean Casino Resort won $30.5 million, up 26.4%; Harrah’s won $20.1 million, up 15.9%; Caesars won $16.8 million, up 5%; Tropicana won $16.2 million, up 11.9%; Bally’s won $11.5 million, up 31.4%; Resorts won $11.1 million, up 20.1%; and Golden Nugget won $10.9 million, up 5.6%.
Including internet and sports betting revenue, Borgata won $105.9 million, up 14.7%; Resorts Digital, the online arm of Resorts casino, won $52.9 million, up 22.5%; Golden Nugget won $51.6 million, up 10.1%; Hard Rock won $43.2 million, up 2.2%; Ocean won $34.6 million, up 31%; Tropicana won $24.9 million, down 3.1%; Harrah’s won $20 million, up 14.5%; Bally’s won $16.4 million, up 63.7%; Caesars won $16.3 million, up 2.2%; Resorts won $10.8 million, up 14.4%, and Caesars Interactive NJ won $8.2 million, down 17.6%.
Only three of the nine casinos won more from in-person gamblers in January than they did four years ago: Borgata, Hard Rock and Ocean.
The results indicate that the Atlantic City casino industry “is still very much in a rebuilding and recovery phase from where it was three years ago,” Mark Giannantonio, president of Resorts Casino and president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, said in an email.
New Jersey casinos and horse tracks took in nearly $1.1 billion worth of bets in January, led by wagers on the NFL playoffs and the NBA. Of that total, $87.5 million was kept as revenue after paying off winning bets and other expenses.
The Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, just outside New York City, won $47.7 million from sports bets, up 24.2% from a year earlier; Monmouth Park in Oceanport, near the Jersey Shore, won nearly $2.2 million, up nearly 282% from a year earlier; and Freehold Raceway won $1.6 million, down 38.4%.
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