Atlantic City Casinos Win $3.29 Billion From Gamblers in 2019

  • Sports betting revenue brings total gaming win to $3.46bn
  • Overall gaming win surpasses $3bn mark for the first time since 2012
  • Increase of 15.1% from 2018 represents the market's third year of growth
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
Atlantic City’s nine casinos won more than $3bn from gamblers in 2019 for the first time since 2012 by raking in a total of $3.29bn. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Casinos rebound with strong results

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has released figures showing that the nine casinos operating in Atlantic City won $3.29bn from gamblers in 2019, which represents an increase of 15.1% from 2018.

Online gaming and sports betting played a huge role in the yearly gains. When sports betting revenues of $300m are added to the total, the total revenues jump to $3.46bn.

Difficult few years for the market

The revenue total for 2019 marks the first time that casinos in Atlantic City have won over $3b from gamblers since 2012. By 2014, the region was plagued with problems as four casinos shut down and thousands of jobs were lost. Another casino closed by 2016, leaving only seven in operation.

first time that casinos in Atlantic City have won over $3b from gamblers since 2012

The Trump Taj Mahal and the Revel Casino were two of the gaming venues that closed between 2014 and 2016. Both had reopened by 2018.

The former Trump property is now the Hard Rock Atlantic City. The Revel operates as the Ocean Casino Resort. Last year was the first full year in which the two casinos operated, bringing added jobs and revenue.

While it was good to have two new casinos in the mix, they did eat into the profits of the existing seven casinos. The first three quarters of 2019 saw a decrease in cumulative gross operating profits of $484m. This was a decrease of 4.5% compared to the same window in 2018.

According to Rummy Pandit, a gambling analyst with Stockton University, Atlantic City has been able to successfully diversify their gambling offerings. Online gaming and sports betting now account for over 18% of gambling winnings in Atlantic City.

Breaking down the figures

Online gambling continued to thrive in 2019, generating $482m in revenue. This was an increase of over 61% from the previous year. For the sports betting industry, the wagers continue to roll in month after month.

In December 2019, close to $558m was wagered on sports in the state. This was the second-best month for the region, falling just short of the $563m wagered in November.

The two dominating casinos in New Jersey continue to be the Borgata and the Golden Nugget. The Borgata earned $797.8m for the top spot, with a 3.5% increase from 2018. The Golden Nugget came in second with $378.4m in earnings, just over 15% more from the year prior.

five Atlantic City casinos reported a decrease in revenue last year

While the collective total was a positive, five Atlantic City casinos reported a decrease in revenue last year. The largest drop was seen by the Tropicana, at just over 8% to $349.5m. Harrah’s dropped 6.1% with $312.6m in earnings.

Bally’s earnings of $181.5m represents a decrease of 5.4% from 2018. Caesars and Resorts had the smallest decrease at 3.7% and 3.2% respectively. Caesars earned $270.9m in 2019, while Resorts brought in $178.4m.