Atlantic City Casinos Lean On Online Casino And Sports Betting

Atlantic City casinos managed to keep their losses to single-digit territory in November, but only because more of the burden is shouldered by their online casino and sports betting activities.

On Monday, Gaming Enforcement’s New Jersey Division announced that in November, AC’s nine casinos produced combined brick-and-mortar slots and table game revenue of nearly $146.6 million, a 34.6 percent decrease from November 2019 and 21.2 percent below the total of October 2020.

However, thanks to the $114.3 million brought in last month by state sportsbooks and online casinos, the total sales figure for November fell to $260.9 million by just 9.6 percent year-on-year.

Brick-and-mortar losses in November were broad-based, with slots down 35 percent to $101.8 million, while tables slipped one-third to $44.7 million. For the year-to-date, brick-and-mortar slots & tables are down almost 45 percent to $1,365b, setting the market up once December’s stats are in the books for the first year of negative growth since 2015.

The Hard Rock Atlantic City was the only casino to report annual growth in November, growing 19 percent to $28 million, solely on a slots & table basis. The Ocean Casino Resort came closest to reaching the elite community, with revenue slipping to $19.5 million by a mere 1.3 percent.

Caesars AC slumped 56 percent at the other end of the continuum to just $12.4m, while Harrah’s sister property dropped 50.7 percent to $12.6m. The Golden Nugget, which is more of an excuse for operating its online casino today, dropped 49 percent to just $8.7 million. Even the mighty Borgata fell 38 percent to $36.6m.

The inclusion of other verticals did not change much as Hard Rock was one of only two net winners, rising 32.3 percent to $34.65 million, while Ocean Casino Resort increased 5.2 percent to $23.8 million. The two Caesars properties led the decliners here again, each down more than 50 percent year-on-year.

Harrah’s plans to reopen its live poker room the day after Christmas in an attempt to raise its diminishing appeal. The Atlantic City Press quoted Harrah’s GM Ron Baumann saying that the World Series of Poker-branded room will open at noon and shut at 4 a.m. every day with tables limited to eight players, each behind polycarbonate dividers.

Harrah’s aim is to snatch a little thunder from the Borgata after the casino reopened its poker room in October. None of the other three casinos with live poker spaces have seen fit to follow the example of the Borg to date, while the Ocean Casino went the other direction and turned its poker room into a slots area with a high limit.