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FOR the fourth straight year casinos in Atlantic City saw revenues increase, with last year’s figure of $3.47 billion the highest in the Garden State since 2010.
The 2019 figure was 20% more than the handle in 2018 and there had not be a double-digit revenue increase in the industry in 35 years.
The Gaming industry has been consistently growing since 1978 when Resorts Casino opened, marking the first legal casino in the U.S. outside of Nevada.
Revenue increased annually until 2006 when the industry reached an all-time high handle of $5.2 billion, which was more than two times the figure from 20 years previous.
However, then Pennsylvania opened casinos and there was an economic collapse felt the world-over.
From here there was an annual decline in revenues for the Atlantic City casino industry and in 2015 the revenue for the year was only $2.6 billion.
Still, the industry rebounded and recent figures recently released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show that downturn is well in the past.
Online casino gaming was one of the main reasons for the increased revenue in 2019. There was a 62% rise from 2018 and it also helped that 2019 was the first full year where sports betting was legal in New Jersey, and that had a revenue of $299 million.
Gains were also made in the sports betting industry, following the decision by the DGE to allow handles to take bets on esports, which is one of the fastest growing areas of online wagering.
It is also key to note that the land-based casinos in the Garden State had increased revenues in 2019 of 7%, to the tune of $2.7 billion.
Were fears of Atlantic City casino saturation overhyped?
Casino saturation in Atlantic City was a big concern in 2019 following the opening of two new casinos, the Hard Rock and the Ocean Casino Resort.
This led to a dip in revenues for some of the other casinos in Atlantic City. In 2019 Harrah’s, Resorts, Caesars, and Bally’s revenue all took a dive, but those dips were all single-digits.
Borgata continued to blaze the trail in 2019 with a revenue figure of $798 million, which is a 3.5% increase over 2018. The Golden Nugget took second place last year with $378 million, which is an impressive increase of 15.4% over the previous year.
The Hard Rock took in $350 million in their first full year of operation and the Tropicana came in with that figure as well. Harrah’s had a figure of $313 million, Caesars was $271 million, Ocean was $238 million, Bally’s was $182 million, and Resorts was $178 million.
Online poker in New Jersey had a lukewarm 2019 after after it played a big role in having online casinos and poker legalised in the Garden State in 2013. Revenues from online poker in the state was only $20.9 million, which is a decrease of 2% from 2018 and only a small portion $483 million from online casino gambling.
However, in 2019 revenues from slot machine play was $1.9 billion, which is a 6.7% increase from 2018, and table games was $765 million, which is an increase of 7.7% over the previous year.
Ocean Casino Continues to Grow
In December Ocean Casino’s revenue was $209 million, which is a whopping increase of 75% from the same month last year. Just over one year back Ocean finished dead-last in monthly totals but in December of last year they surpassed the casinos of Bally’s, Caesars, Golden Nugget, and Resorts.