Atlantic City casinos earned a rare revenue increase in August, but only if you’re willing to compare apples to oranges (and/or lemons). The Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) says total casino gaming win in August amounted to $305m, up 2.3% over the same month last year. But $10.5m of August 2014’s revenue came via the state’s regulated online gambling market, which wasn’t operational last year. So the brick-and-mortar casino revenue actually fell 1.2% year-on-year to $294.4m.
However, last August featured revenue from 12 casinos, before the Atlantic Club closed this January. Meanwhile, the Showboat property closed its doors forever on Aug. 31 after gradually scaling back its operations over the course of the month. With Revel having shut down on Sept. 2 and the Trump Plaza due to close on Sept. 16, like-for-like comparisons will become ever trickier. (Honestly, where’s Danica McKellar when you need her?)
Looking to bring some method to this mathematical madness, the DGE has created two new revenue categories – Current Operators and Discontinued Operators – to help segregate the living from the dead. Subtracting the $15m earned by Discontinued in August, Current’s revenue tally came to $279.4m, up 6% year-on-year.
Getting down to individual performances, the Borgata Casino Hotel retained its market-leading status with a hefty $65.9m, up 5.2% over last year. Caesars rose a healthy 16.3% to $43.9m while Harrah’s rose 18.4% to $38.9m despite the property’s growing reputation for abusing its customers.
The Tropicana posted the month’s biggest gain, rising 46.3% to $31.3m, thanks to a 26.4% gain in slots revenue, while table game revenue contributed nearly $6.9m versus just $2.1m last year. The rest of AC’s gaming halls that remained open through the entire month of August performed as follows; Bally’s ($25.7m, -1.1%), Trump Taj Mahal ($25m, -6.1%), Golden Nugget ($16.8m, +34%), Resorts ($14.9m, +2.3%), Revel ($12.1m, -40.6%) and the doomed Trump Plaza brought up the rear with a mere $4.9m, down 45%.
For the year-to-date, AC’s brick-and-mortar gaming revenue stands at $1.85b, down 6.3% year-on-year. Factoring in the extra $83.7m earned by online gambling in 2014, AC’s overall gaming revenue is still down 2.1% to $1.93b.