Atlantic City casino’s woes have many causes, but the growing popularity of competing casinos in Pennsylvania and beyond figure big in the industry’s downturn. Here, Sugar House patrons explain why they no longer drive to A.C.
ATLANTIC CITY - A nice boost from internet gambling helped push Atlantic City’s casino revenue into the black in June.
The city’s seven brick-and-mortar casinos took in almost exactly as much ($197 million) as they did a year ago. But, an increase of more than 23 percent in online winnings gave the city a total monthly increase of 1.8 percent, compared to a year ago.
The shuttered Trump Taj Mahal was included in the calculation because it was still operating last June. If it was excluded, the market would have shown an increase of 10.8 percent.
“These are solid numbers that show that casinos are attracting more business and increasing their market,” said Matt Levinson, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “Gaming revenue for the current operators has now increased every month this year compared to last year. So far this year, total gaming win at the seven casinos is up 11.1 percent, with six of the current seven operators outperforming last year.”
David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, noted the continuing crucial role online gambling is playing in helping Atlantic City’s casinos survive in a cutthroat regional market.
“June’s report reflects continuing overall financial stability within the industry and increasing strength for internet gaming operations,” he said. “Both factors are positive indicators of the Atlantic City casino industry’s ability to successfully perform in an extremely competitive regional marketplace.”
Caesars was the only casino to report a revenue decrease in June, down 1.9 percent to $24.6 million.
The biggest percentage increase was posted by the Golden Nugget, up nearly 23 percent to $23.5 million.
The Golden Nugget also had a good month online, widening its lead over four competitors in June, soaring to $5.5 million. That bested the Borgata, which was second at $3.8 million. Three other competitors were bunched closely behind.
Overall, the Borgata remained Atlantic City’s top casino in terms of gambling revenue; the $63.7 million it won from gamblers in June was more than twice as much as its closest competitor, the Tropicana, which won $31.9 million. Harrah’s was close behind at $31.6 million.
For the first half of 2017, Atlantic City’s casinos have won $1.29 billion, an increase of 3.5 percent over the same period last year.