Atlantic City’s veteran casinos still struggling with new competition
Atlantic City casinos reported a double-digit gaming revenue rise in May, and even some of the older venues got in on the fun for a change.
On Wednesday, New Jersey gambling regulators announced that AC’s nine casino operators had generated combined slots and table game revenue of $222.9m in the month of May, up 15.3% from May 2018 and 7.3% higher than April 2019’s result.
All of AC’s land-based gaming options were contributing in May, with slots revenue up 13.8% to $165.2m and tables rising one-fifth to $57.7m. Throw in the $38.3m brought in by the casinos’ online gambling sites and the $5.5m from their sports betting operations and the month’s total gaming revenue haul was up 22.5% year-on-year to $266.75m.
For a change, two of the seven casinos that were open for business in May 2018 posted year-on-year revenue gains in May, although those gains were modest. Caesars improved 3% to $22.9m while Resorts Casino Hotel was up 4.2% to nearly $16.2m.
The other five veteran operators were awash in red ink, with the Tropicana taking the biggest hit, falling 18.2% to $25.3m. The market-leading Borgata was down 10.1% to $55.2m while the Golden Nugget dipped 13.1% to $17.1m.
As usual, this game of Casino Clue fingered the two newcomers – Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort – for the murder of the other venues. The Hard Rock generated $28.6m in May, its third-best monthly performance since its mid-2018 opening, while the Ocean limped along with an underwhelming $16.3m.
The two new properties will celebrate their first anniversaries at the end of June, but don’t expect the other operators to come to the party. While AC’s overall slots and table revenue continues to rise – up nearly 13% to $1b in the first five months of the year – casino profits continue to tumble, falling an abysmal 30% in the first quarter of 2019.
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