Atlantic City casinos were able to see gains in revenues for the year in 2016 instead of losses, which had been the norm for the past decade.
At the end of every year, reports are published that show the annual financials of casinos in states across the US. In New Jersey, these reports would show information in regards to Atlantic City, since this is the only area that currently offers casino gaming in land based form. The annual report for revenues of AC have come in and surprisingly the area has posted the first gains in a decade, mainly due to online gambling operations.
Ahead After a Decade Behind
The figures were released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement on Thursday and show that the seven remaining casinos in Atlantic City were able to generate a 6.8% gain in December with $189.7 million in earnings. This was a nice increase from the same month in 2015. With this total, plus the $18.4 million created by online gaming sites, the state was able to see a year-on-year gain of 8.6%.
The numbers for December were strong due to the gaming tables in Atlantic City. Table games were up almost 23% to $58.4 million in earnings. Slots saw a slight increase of 1% with earnings of $131.3 million. Each of the seven casinos in Atlantic City were in the positive with Bally’s being the only casino close to seeing a decrease, the casino was only up by .3% year-on-year.
The top operating casino for the state was the Borgata who earned $57.1 million which as 3.7% more than the previous year. Caesars saw a huge gain with $29.7 million earnings which is 32.6% more than December 2015. The Tropicana and Golden Nugget both were up as well with 27% and 25% more earnings.
Matt Levinson, the Chairman of the Casino Control Commission stated that December was so strong due to calendar timing, including New Year’s Eve falling on a Saturday. Levinson hopes that the revenues are an indicator that Atlantic City is entering a stable environment.
Considering Online Gambling
When looking at the gambling totals for Atlantic City, one cannot forget the online gambling numbers. The contribution of the online gambling revenues was able to help Atlantic City see an annual revenue year-on-year increase, the first one in a decade. When looking at 2016, casinos in Atlantic City were able to generate just over $2.4 billion in brick and mortar gaming revenues, this is actually a decline when looking at 2015 by .3%.
However, when you include the $196.7 million generated by online casino and poker sites of the state, the numbers are actually up for the year. The state earned $2.602 billion, which is an increase of around 1.5%. If you take away the numbers of the Trump Taj Mahal, which is a venue that is no longer operating in the state, the numbers look even better, with a 4% increase from 2015.
Since 2006, the casinos in Atlantic City have been suffering. This was a time when casinos were being created in other states such as Pennsylvania. This caused gamblers to visit other areas and gaming revenues to go down. Amazingly, the state earned $5.2 billion in 2006 before things began to go downhill.
There are now casinos located in several states near New Jersey and players who might have traveled to Atlantic City are now going elsewhere. However, the numbers shown in the yearly report could be a sign that Atlantic City is in recovery mode, pushed along by the online gambling options available only in the state.