Ocean, Golden Nugget Each Earn Wins In Latest AC Casino Numbers

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Ocean Casino Resort was the big winner in the Atlantic City casino industry in November, with revenues rocketing up by nearly 67% year over year.

The $19.5 million in “casino win” announced by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement boosted Ocean — formerly known as Revel — past Bally’s, Resorts, and Golden Nugget in the monthly rankings and within sight of Hard Rock ($23.5 mm) and Tropicana ($23.6 mm).

The industry overall was up 7.1% over November 2018, with Caesars the other big winner, up 27% to $28.3 mm. Borgata continues to boast more than 25% of the nine-casino industry’s revenues at $59 mm.

On the internet gaming front, Golden Nugget led the charge at at $18.9 mm, doubling its November 2018 output and putting it in the remarkable position of making more money online than from its brick-and-mortar property ($17.1 mm).

Online gaming win overall was up 82.4% over the previous November, to $49.1 mm.

In terms of sports betting, the Meadowlands Racetrack and Monmouth Park and their online partners teamed to produce more than half of the industry’s $32.9 mm in revenues.

Put another way, non-traditional sources of casino revenue accounted for $83 mm out of the total of $306 mm, demonstrating that new options explain all of the industry’s bottom-line revival.

Whither online poker?

The news wasn’t all good for gambling ventures in New Jersey.

Online poker revenue, which traditionally has held around the $2 mm monthly mark, slipped again in November to just $1.5 mm. The yearly figure is down 2.2%, as multi-state compact efforts have yet to bear significant fruit.

All other online casino gaming, meanwhile, continues to crush year-over-year comparisons. The $47.6 mm in November revenues nearly doubled the November 2018 mark, and that sector is up by two-thirds in 2019 compared to 11 months of 2018.

The year-to-date figures for brick-and-mortar dollars continue to present a melancholy fact: All but one of the seven long-running casinos have seen declines so far in 2019.

The exception barely qualifies; market leader Borgata is up just 0.2% to $655 mm. One consolation is that none of the holdovers is down by more than 11%.

As for newcomers Hard Rock and Ocean Resort, each of which opened in mid-2018, they rank second and sixth, respectively, among the nine properties in revenue this year. The addition of thousands of jobs at the new sites is a significant boost to the regional economy, but it’s not certain that the city can sustain nine properties after a freefall from 12 casinos to seven just five years ago.

As for state taxes generated in 2019, it breaks down this way:

  • $176.6 mm from brick-and-mortar casinos;
  • $65.1 mm from online casino gaming including poker;
  • $28.5 mm from mobile sports betting;
  • $4.3 mm from brick-and-mortar sports betting at the state’s casinos and racetracks.

Photo by Aneese / Shutterstock.com

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John Brennan

John Brennan has covered NJ and NY sports business and gaming since 2002 and was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2008, while reporting for The Bergen County Record.

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