Atlantic City casinos won $262.4 million on their nine brick-and-mortar gaming floors last month.
August gross gaming revenue (GGR) from retail slot machines totaled a little more than $198 million, with table games accounting for just shy of $64.4 million. The land-based total win is a 5.3 percent slide from July, and is down 8.4 percent from pre-pandemic August 2019.
However, when sports betting and iGaming is included, Atlantic City’s nine casinos reported GGR of $397.6 million. That’s $58.8 million better than the $338.8 million the casinos won from all gaming verticals in August of 2019.
Atlantic City’s total gaming revenue rose more than 17 percent compared to pre-pandemic August 2019,” James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, said in a statement suppled to Casino.org.
The casinos’ $397.6 million balloons to over $427.6 million when sports betting from the state’s three horse racetracks sportsbooks — and their mobile operations — are included. As a result, total statewide GGR grew 31 percent year-over-year, and 21.2 percent from August 2019.
State Gaming Future
COVID-19 resulted in traditional Atlantic City gamblers migrating online to internet casinos. New Jersey’s gaming industry benefited during the pandemic due to being only one of three states that had full iGaming in 2020, including interactive slot machines and table games.
Online GGR flourished during the health crisis. And while iGaming revenue for Atlantic City’s nine licensed casinos isn’t nearly as profitable as revenue incurred at the shore, it nonetheless helped offset some of the brick-and-mortar losses.
COVID-19 continues to cast uncertainty on various markets, two major ones being hospitality and tourism. New Jersey’s robust gaming industry seems to be finding a new norm, and that new norm involves iGaming revenue continuing to grow.
“August’s results provided valuable insight into the trajectory of total gaming revenue following last year’s pandemic,” Plousis explained.
Slots and table revenue last month was $24 million less than in August 2019. Conversely, internet gaming revenue climbed 175 percent from $41.1 million in August 2019 to $113.2 million last month.
Plousis believes casinos can still bring back players to 2019 levels. The chief gaming regulator, along with the state Casino Association of New Jersey, hopes a busy entertainment and convention calendar this fall and winter keeps the town bustling.
“Tourists welcomed the opportunity to return to Atlantic City during the summer months. The casinos have an opportunity to continue building on that success and benefit from consumer interest in Atlantic City’s many offerings going into the fall season,” Plousis declared.
Atlantic City casinos reported gross operating profits of $185.1 million in the second quarter. Observers credited the resorts for streamlining their operations and reducing overhead as reason for the prosperous three-month period.
Despite the cooler months setting in, Atlantic City casinos are searching for qualified candidates to bring back to work. It hasn’t been easy. The Press of Atlantic City reported recently that Borgata and Hard Rock are two of the casino resorts seeking employees.
We’ve been looking for people all summer long,” said Hard Rock President Joe Lupo. “We’re looking at a strong fall ahead with conventions and live entertainment, so we’re looking to continue providing some jobs to the local community.”