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Boosted by solid winnings in sports betting and through their online casinos, Atlantic City casinos posted terrific revenue figures for 2019, posting $3.3 billion in total winnings. When compared to 2018, the casinos’ revenue take is up over 15% percent.
For the calendar year, the Atlantic City casinos and two racetracks that offer sports betting made a collective $300 million for the calendar year. That figure does not include horse racing from the two tracks, making total winnings well north of the reported figure.
By making over $3 billion in total winnings, the casinos posted their first year above that number since 2012. After that peak seven years ago, Atlantic City fell on hard times, with five of 12 casinos shutting down with over 11,000 jobs vanishing in the process.
“The revenue increase is a positive,” said David Schwartz, a gambling historian with the University of Nevada Las Vegas. “Right now the industry should be in ‘grow-the-market’ mode rather than seeking to consolidate profits, so a decrease in profits isn’t necessarily the worst news we could get. Overall, what Atlantic City needs right now is to improve its image and marketing and become a destination in a crowded Northeast casino market.”
Although the casinos did well collectively, there were several that struggled to make the same revenue they posted in 2018. The Tropicana Casino was down 8.2%, Harrah’s fell by 6.1%, Bally’s dropped by 5.4%, Caesars fell 3.7% against 2018 figures and finally, Resorts suffered the smallest drop, only falling 3.2% from last year.
The revenue for 2019 could have been higher for the nine casinos that remain in Atlantic City but the two newest facilities, the Hard Rock Casino and the Ocean Casino Resort struggled to keep up with the other seven operators. Operating profit for all nine casinos was down 4.5% from last year, due to the addition of the two new casinos to the marketplace.
Despite the cloudy news for a handful of casinos, facilities like the Golden Nugget sportsbook celebrated a record surge, posting $378.4 million in winnings, good for a 15.4% jump from last year. The Borgata remained the king of Atlantic City, posting a whopping revenue figures of $797.8 million for 2019, a bump of 3.5% from last year.
The two new casinos posted solid numbers for 2019 as the Hard Rock casino and sportsbook won $350 million from players and the Ocean took in $238 million in revenue over the last calendar year.
One of the biggest draws for visitors to Atlantic City casinos was the ability to bet on sports. Although 80% of bets come via mobile app, close to a billion dollars was wagered on-site in casinos in 2019.
Since the state of New Jersey legalized sports betting after the 2018 Supreme Court decision to overturn the prohibition, $5.8 billion in wagers have been taken in the Garden State.
Out of the many sportsbooks offering online services to customers, the Meadowlands Racetrack, run by FanDuel, was the clear winner cashing a profit of $150 million at the end of 2019.
With New York legislators faltering to find a middle ground on offering online betting to its citizens, New Jersey will continue to see numbers that rival Nevada in total handle and winning revenue.
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