Casino Beat: July Atlantic City gaming-revenue report offers a mixed bag of news; in Pennsylvania Wind Creek goes online
In the past, the numbers would have been catastrophic. In context, they’re better than they might have been.
In a normal year, a 23-percent drop in Atlantic City’s year-to-year July gaming revenue would have been calamitous, to say the least. After all, 23 percent is an incredibly brutal amount for any month. For July—historically a peak time for AC casinos—it is unimaginable. But in case you haven’t been paying attention, 2020 has murdered and buried the word “normal.” As such, we can assume that those who run the town’s nine gambling dens are, if not exactly ecstatic, at least breathing a little more easily after the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released the numbers for the first full month of operation since February.
According to the report, the casinos grossed roughly $248 million. Since the industry’s financial health is measured by monthly year-over-year figures, that is simply horrible. But that number doesn’t seem so bad when you consider the properties have been, by edict of Gov. Phil Murphy, operating at 25 percent capacity. And when you factor in the decision by longtime industry leader Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa to delay its public reopening from the original July 6 target date to July 26, that nearly-a-quarter-billion-dollars tally seems even more encouraging.
That said, it’s notable that Internet gambling revenue was a whopping $87.4 million (a crazy 122.5 percent leap from July 2019), and the $29.5 million taken in from sports betting represents an impressive 65 percent increase over the July 2019 total.
As for the three top finishers, Golden Nugget Atlantic City led the pack with $40.3 million (including $31.5 million from cyber-gaming). Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City placed second with $31 million and Borgata was third with $26.6 million—despite its delayed reopening.
While Ocean Casino Resort finished fourth with $26.3 million, that number represents a 30.3 percent increase over July 2019, and proves that the casino-hotel created out of the ashes of the spectacular failure that was Revel has not let the pandemic interfere with its Phoenix-like resurrection.
Wind Creek goes virtual
Powered by Pala Interactive, the operation offers both real-money and free-to-play casino games. Sports betting is scheduled to be added in the fall.
Casino Beat will appear Fridays and when news breaks. Chuck Darrow is Bettors Insider’s Casino Lifestyle Editor.