2021 Atlantic City Casino Revenue Within Five Percent of 2019
Atlantic City casinos won more than $2.55 billion from gamblers in 2021. The brick-and-mortar gross gaming revenue (GGR) number is only 4.9 percent short of the $2.68 billion the same nine casinos generated in pre-pandemic 2019.
GGR from retail slot machines totaled $1.87 billion. Table game win was $680 million. Total land-based GGR in 2021 was up 69 percent on 2020.
Atlantic City capped off 2021 in style, as the casinos reported GGR of $211.8 million. That’s a 1.6 percent gain on 2019, and 44 percent better than December 2020.
[December added] to positive momentum that occurred through the course of the year,” said James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.
Borgata was by far the top land-based GGR earner, the MGM Resorts property reporting casino income of $606 million. Hard Rock was a distant second at $431.1 million, and Ocean Casino third at $306.8 million.
iGaming, Sports Betting Records
Atlantic City casino revenue nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2021. The rest of New Jersey’s gaming industry soared to new highs.
GGR from iGaming, which includes interactive slots, table games, and poker rake, totaled $1.36 billion. The all-time record internet gaming haul is a 41 percent jump on 2020 and 183 percent higher than in 2019.
New Jersey oddsmakers also kept more money from sports bettors than ever before. Sportsbook revenue totaled $815.7 million, more than doubling 2020’s total and 172 percent higher than in 2019.
Along with Atlantic City casinos, New Jersey’s three horse racetracks — the Meadowlands, Monmouth Park, and Freehold Raceway — participate in retail and online sports betting. iGaming is specifically reserved for the casinos and their third-party operating partners.
When iGaming and sports betting is included, full-year 2021 GGR from all verticals totaled $4.737 billion. The revenue is 64.5 percent better than 2020 and 36 percent better than 2019. Total 2021 GGR is an increase of $1.268 billion on 2019.
The $4.7 billion in total revenue is the state’s highest mark since 2007 when 12 casinos in Atlantic City won $4.9 billion.
These results are a remarkable achievement for Atlantic City in light of the lingering pandemic,” Plousis concluded.
Profit Reports Forthcoming
A better picture of the overall health of Atlantic City will be revealed when the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement releases operating profit reports. The state gaming regulatory agency has only unveiled such reports for the first and second quarters of 2021.
This year through 2026, Atlantic City casinos are being afforded a break on their property tax obligations through a revised payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) setup.
Atlantic County and the state has been ordered into mediation to settle a lawsuit brought by the county challenging the new PILOT calculation. The casinos will likely see their iGaming and sports betting revenue stripped from the total GGR number. That is used to determine how much PILOT money they must collectively pay the state and county.
Outgoing New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D), who sponsored the PILOT change in the casinos’ favor, has said that as many as four Atlantic City resorts are in peril of closing without such a tax break.
Joe Lupo, president of Hard Rock Atlantic City and the Casino Association of New Jersey, says the industry “remains cautiously optimistic” for the future.
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