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New Jersey: Online Gambling Up, Atlantic City Casinos Down in April Revenue Report



The New Jersey gaming industry had a banner month in April, but it wasn’t because of the state’s flagship casinos in Atlantic City.

While overall revenues were up 10.4 percent compared to April 2023, according to numbers released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, in-person gambling was down 6.3 percent year-over-year.

Land-Based Casinos Still Below Pre-COVID Revenue Figures

In total, casinos, racetracks, and online gambling sites brought in $511 million in revenue during the month of April. But six Atlantic City casinos saw their in-person winnings decline from the previous year, and the same number are still below their pre-COVID numbers from April 2019.

Some of the decline in live revenue was due to circumstances outside of normal market factors. For instance, the Ocean Casino Resort saw revenue drop 15.6 percent to $28.8 million, but that was partially due to the fact that its casino floor was offline – in whole or in part – for four days during the month as the casino switched computer systems.

But other casinos saw significant declines without such mitigating factors. Harrah’s won just $16.4 million for April, down nearly 25 percent year-over-year. Caesars was also down 18.4 percent to $16 million, while Tropicana, Bally’s, and the Golden Nugget also saw clear declines. In total, land-based casinos took in $216.8 million in revenue, down 6.3 percent from last year.

When factoring in sports betting and online revenue, five casinos were still down for the month. Tropicana was the biggest loser, falling 28 percent to $34.8 million. However, the casino could see improvements in that sector, as three sites switched from Caesars Interactive to Tropicana during April. 

Internet Gambling, Non-Gaming Revenues Key to Atlantic City’s Future

Overall, internet gambling brought in $187.9 million, up 18.2 percent from April 2023 and marking the second-highest total ever for New Jersey’s online gaming industry. That puts the online take within $30 million of the live casinos – a sign that the state’s gambling landscape may be undergoing a shift. 

Sports betting was also a strength for New Jersey this month, bringing in $106.2 million in revenue on over $1 billion in handle during April 2024. That was up 46.9 percent over April 2023.

But while online gambling and sports betting are helping to boost revenues for Atlantic City casinos, that’s not an ideal situation for those resorts. Since casinos must share internet and sports betting revenues with partners and platform operators, those winnings aren’t as valuable as core in-person wagering.

Some analysts believe that Atlantic City may need to shift its focus to remain relevant in the long run, particularly against the looming downstate casinos that are expected to open in the next few years in and around New York City.

“It will be many months before a clear picture of this trend is available, but operators’ recent investments in improving resort offerings suggest that a significant shift in the market’s overall revenue mix could be coming,” Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, told NBC Philadelphia. “A focus beyond gaming, to the elements that make Atlantic City unique and a stronger competitor against the threat of New York City casinos, is simply good business.”

For the first four months of 2024, New Jersey has brought in $2.06 billion in total gaming revenue. Land-based venues have accounting for $872.9 million, down 1.6 percent from 2023, while internet gaming is up 21.1 percent to $750.7 million. Sports betting is also up 48.6 percent year-over-year, bringing in $434.2 million in revenue through April.

(Image: Wangkun Jia/Alamy)

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