July marked the first month that casinos in Atlantic City reopened. Many had questions as to how much money these gambling venues would earn once they began accepting guests again. This week, reports on casino revenue in Atlantic City for the month of July finally surfaced.
It should come as no surprise that revenue here dropped. Today, we’re going to look at exactly how much money these properties managed to bring in. We’ll also talk about how revenue figures here may change as time goes on.
Let’s get into it!
New Jersey’s Casino Industry is Now Up and Running Again
There’s no doubt that New Jersey has the biggest casino industry on the East Coast. Atlantic City has recovered since the economic recession in 2008 and is now home to some of the country’s best casino-resorts. Back in March, however, all of the casinos here were forced to shut down.
This proved to be devastating to the local economy. A huge number of residents in this city rely on casinos in one way or another. The casino companies here also began to suffer and many feared they would be forced to permanently shut down.
That didn’t prove to be the case. Governor Phil Murphy eventually gave these casinos permission to reopen over the Fourth of July weekend. The Borgata Hotel-Casino began operating again in late July, making it the final gambling venue in the city to open back up.
Intense safety measures are set inside all of these properties. Masks are required on the casino floor. Eating, drinking, and smoking are all prohibited. It seemed likely that visitation would drop with so many safety new rules set in place.
Casino revenue has been dropping around the country. That was particularly true over March, April, and May, when most casinos were closed. This week, we learned how much money Atlantic City’s casinos managed to bring in during the month of July.
Here’s where things stand.
Reports on Casino Revenue in Atlantic City Are Out!
Many had questions about how much money casinos in Atlantic City would make in July. Some had concerns that tourism rates would remain extremely low. Everyone knew that the casinos here would experience a dip in revenue earnings.
According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, casino revenue in Atlantic City dropped by 23% when compared to the same month in 2019. The casinos here managed to bring in just under $248.7 million last month. It’s a significant decline from the $323.3 million made a year ago.
This is not very surprising. As we already mentioned, the Borgata Hotel-Casino was only operational for nine days last month. The regulations we mentioned have also led to a significant drop in tourism, which negatively impacts revenue.
Jane Bokunewicz, coordinator of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute for Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University, believes the figures represent a win for New Jersey’s casino industry.
“Even with public health precautions in place, there was great concern that patrons would not yet feel safe visiting the casinos in person, and there would be an extended ‘COVID drag’ on the industry,” Bokunewicz said. “Although total casino win for July was down, [the revenue report] shows that a significant number of gamblers were willing to play in person.”
Casino revenue figures likely won’t return to normal for at least a year. As time goes on, casino companies will likely focus more on their online gambling operations. More states are also beginning to take a closer look at the legalization of sports betting.
More States Are Looking into Sports Betting Legislation
Back in mid-2018, the Supreme Court struck down PASPA. This immediately gave every state in the country the ability to legalize sports gambling. It’s been more than two years, and 24 different states have legalized this form of gambling.
This is proving to be a hugely successful industry. Despite many sports being shut down for months, sports betting has been growing more popular. It’s been an important source of revenue for many casino companies.
State leaders recognize the revenue potential from this industry. For a time, it seemed highly likely that Massachusetts would legalize this form of gambling this year. To the surprise of many, the Massachusetts State Senate rejected the bills to legalize this form of gambling.
The same can be said for California. Gambling proponents have presented several bills to allow sports betting here. Unfortunately, state officials failed to come to a deal with Native American tribes on how to offer sports betting options. It now appears the state’s sports gambling plans will be delayed at least a year.
These delays won’t last forever. Most feel that sports betting will become legal in almost every state within the next few years.
Are you surprised to see casino revenue in Atlantic City drop by so much? When do you expect these figures to return to normal? Let us know in the comments section below.