Atlantic City Kicks off Summer Season Strong, May Casino Revenue Climbs Five Percent

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Atlantic City casinos experienced a robust start to its summer season, loosely defined as Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Temperatures are rising in Atlantic City and the gaming action is heating up, too. May 2024 retail gross gaming revenue down the shore in New Jersey totaled $239.1 million. (Image: Shutterstock)

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) at the nine brick-and-mortar casinos in May 2024 totaled $239.1 million, a 5.2% year-over-year improvement. Revenue from retail slot machines increased 4.8% to $181.2 million while table game hold jumped 6.4% to $57.9 million.  

The casinos’ partnered iGaming platforms continued to grow their businesses. Online slots and tables, plus rake from poker games, totaled $192 million, 19% better than May 2023. Oddsmakers were the lone vertical in the red, as sports betting win fell 4.2% to $78.7 million.

In total, New Jersey’s gaming industry generated GGR of nearly $510 million last month, an 8.3% betterment.

Atlantic City’s total gaming revenue in May showed continuing stability with positive results in all three components — casino win, internet gaming win, and sports wagering revenue,” said James Plousis, chair of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “Casino win recorded its best May result in eleven years, aided by the best slot machine win since 2012.”

The $192 million won by online casinos represented iGaming’s second-best month ever in the Garden State.

Market Momentum

Plousis told that statewide GGR from January through May totaled $2.567 billion, 13.1% richer than the same five-month period in 2023. He said this year was the industry’s fastest ascent in eclipsing $2.2 billion in GGR in more than a decade.

May also provides optimism for the beach town as schools let out and families begin the summer vacation season.

“May provided a promising start for the summer season and positive momentum has been building,” Plousis said. “Consumer interest has been strong, driven by must-see unique investments recently made in the casino hotels.”

Plousis concluded by saying the diversified casinos “are providing abundant reasons for summer tourists to visit and stay.”

Though revenue is increasing, gaming analysts say Atlantic City’s casinos remain under difficult operating conditions.

While revenues increased, so have expenses, and while revenues for the month and year-to-date compare favorably to prior periods, they may not translate into similar increases in gross operating profit down the line,” Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism (LIGHT) at Stockton University, told the Associated Press.

“Inflation impacts both operators, in the form of costs of goods and wages, and consumers, in the form of prices. So, it is especially interesting that, even in times of inflationary pressure, consumers still seem willing to spend their discretionary money with New Jersey’s casino operators,” Bokunewicz explained.

Borgata Dominating Market

MGM Resorts’ Borgata in the city’s Marina District has long been the top-performing casino in Atlantic City.

Borgata extended its stronghold in May with $61.4 million in revenue on its physical floor, $43.9 million from its iGaming partners, and $5.6 million from its sportsbooks for a combined haul of approximately $110.9 million.

Resorts was second at combined GGR of $84.9 million, with the bulk of the casino’s win — $71.4 million — coming from its online gaming and sports betting operations.

As for brick-and-mortar GGR, Borgata’s $61.4 million lead was followed by Hard Rock with $49.9 million. Ocean was third at $32 million, Tropicana was fourth at $20.1 million, Harrah’s was fifth at $18.2 million, Caesars was sixth at $18 million, Resorts was seventh at $13.6 million, Golden Nugget was eighth at $13.5 million, and Bally’s was the bottom feeder at $12.4 million.  

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