While online gaming has been making waves and breaking records in Atlantic City this year, their brick and mortar casino operations seem to be generating less than gleaming revenues. New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJ DGE) released financial figures for the month on May 2016, on Tuesday, the 14th of June 2016, and reported that the collectively income from the eight remaining casinos at the harbour-front city was USD 219.8 million in May 2016, a year over year decline of 0.6 per cent compared to the same time last year, May 2015.
#Collective revenues for table games were reported at USD 53.9 million in May 2016, a 4.5 per cent year over year increase compared to the same month last year, while slot machine revenues from all the casinos were reported at USD 149.3 million, a 4.9 per cent year over year decline compared to May 2015.
Out of the eight standing casinos on Atlantic City, only two of them reported a positive year over year growth in May 2016.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, which has been the top grossing casino in Atlantic City since their opening in 2003, reported overall revenues of USD 65 million in May 2016, a 15.7 per cent year over year growth from May 2015, when revenues were reported at USD 56 million. The property was owned and operated by Marina District Development, a joint venture between Boyd Gaming and a MGM Resorts International, until earlier this year, when MGM decided to purchase Boyd’s stake in the company to become the sole operator of the business.
Bally's Atlantic City, which is famous for its “Park Place and the Boardwalk” address, with two locations made popular by the American version of the board game Monopoly, was the second casino to show any growth; they reported overall revenues of USD 18.20 million in May 2016, compared to USD 18.16 million in the same month last year; revealing a near flat 0.2 per cent year over year gain.
The other six casinos on the city observed falling revenues.
Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City, which features a free multimedia light and sound show on its boardwalk façade, showed significant growth in the online sector but a 2.1 per cent year over year loss on total revenues when including their brick and mortar offerings. The casino reported USD 27 million in earnings for the month of May 2016, compared to USD 27.62 million that was reported in May 2015.
Golden Nugget Atlantic City, the casino hotel which changed ownership from Trump Entertainment Resorts to Landry’s Inc. in 2011, reported revenues of USD 21 million for the month of May 2016, compared to USD 22.5 million from May 2015, a 6.7 per cent year over year drop.
Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, the first casino resort to be erected in the city’s marina district, that does not operate any online services in the state, reported year over year losses of 11.5 per cent; the casino reported overall revenues of USD 29.5 million in May 2016, compared to USD 33.3 million in May 2015.
Trump Taj Mahal, which remained open under Icahn Enterprises after the 2014 chapter 11 bankruptcy filing event, also does not have an online presence in the state; they reported the biggest loss amongst all the casinos, 18.2 per cent; the casino collected USD 15.1 million in overall revenues for the month of May 2016, compared to USD 18.5 million for the same time a year ago.
Caesars Atlantic City and Resorts Casino Hotel that divide and report their online and land based casino earnings separately from their digital ventures both suffered negative year over year losses compared to May 2015 as well.
Matt Levinson, the chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, said, “Gaming win fell slightly in May, but a quirk in the calendar masks the continued improvement in the revenue picture. It’s common knowledge that weekends are the busiest time for Atlantic City’s casinos and this year, May had four Fridays and four Saturdays compared to May 2015, which had five Fridays and five Saturdays. That alone is more than enough reason for a relatively flat performance for the month.”
Despite all the negative figures, it is good news for Atlantic City that for the first five months of 2016, hey have generated more than USD 1 billion in gambling revenues, a 3.3 per cent improvement compared to the same period in 2015.
Breakdown of Online and Offline Casino Revenues
While the overall revenues from the casinos reflect a negative growth, the online gambling market has reported revenues of USD 16.5 million in May 2016, a whopping 32.6 per cent year over year growth compared to the month of May last year; the figures, however show about a USD 500,000 deficit compared to figures from April 2016, when New Jersey online casinos amassed a record breaking USD 17 million in revenues.
Total Casino win marked a 2.5 per cent decline in growth, with revenues for May 2016 reported at USD 203.3 million, compared to 208.6 million that were recorded in May 2015.
Borgata also remain the forerunner for online gaming revenues in the month of May with USD 3.95 million, with very little year over year change in revenues compared to the same month in 2015, when they reported revenues of approximately USD 3.96 million. Casino win was also up by 16.9 per cent, with USD 61 million reported for May 2016, compared to USD 52.2 million in May 2015.
Caesars Interactive New Jersey collected USD 3.26 million in revenues, a grand 24.1 per cent increase from May 2015, when their income was reported at USD 2.62 million. Unfortunately, their brick and mortar partner, Caesars Atlantic City, reported a 14.1 per cent year over year fall in casino wins, with revenues of USD 23.8 million reported in May 2016, compared to USD 27.7 in the month of May in 2015.
Resorts digital collected almost USD 3.0 million in revenues. In the month of May 2015, before they had partnered up with Amaya Gaming in New Jersey, their online revenues were a mere USD 325,000. Their brick and mortar partner, Resorts Casino Hotel, reported casino revenues of almost USD 14 million in May 2016, a 1.3 per cent year over year decline compared to May 2015, when they reported earnings of USD 14.2 million.
Golden Nugget reported online revenues of USD 3.2 million, a 4.4 per cent year over year gain, compared to the same month last year, when they reported revenues of USD 3.07 million. They also reported casino revenues of USD 17.8 million in May 2016, an 8.4 per cent year over year decline from USD 12.4 that was reported in May 2015.
Tropicana showed the largest year over year growth in May 2016, with online gaming revenues at USD 3.15 million, they revealed a 25.8 per cent year over year increase in May 2016, compared to the month of May last year, when they collected USD 2.5 million in online revenues. Casino revenues for the property were reported at USD 23.9 for May 2016, a 4.9 per cent year over year decline compared to USD 25.1 million that was reported in May 2015.
New Jersey casinos also represented a 30 per cent year to date increase in online gaming revenues; for 2016, till the end of the month of May, New Jersey online casinos had raked in USD 78.41 million in 2016 compared to the USD 60.3 million that was won during the first five months of last year. Casino win to date, also improved by 1.6 per cent; offline gaming revenues for the year so far stands at USD 954 million compared to USD 939.6 for the same period last year.
What the Future Holds For New Jersey Gambling
While AC was once the gambling epicentre of the country, with increased competition from Indian casinos and those erected in neighbouring states, four of their twelve casinos met their inevitable demise in 2014; the eight surviving casinos have since seen their revenues and profitability begin to stabilise, due to the reduced competition in the local market. However, in November 2016, New Jersey voters will get the chance to decide whether to authorise the construction of two new casinos in northern New Jersey, near their border with New York City. While the authorities believe the construction of the new casinos will stream money towards Atlantic City, a report, which was commissioned by a lobbying group against the northern New Jersey casinos, predicts that three to five of Atlantic City’s remaining casinos could be forced to close if the new in state competition becomes a reality.