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


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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