Atlantic City revenue less than half of 2006 peak despite online contributions

atlantic-city-gaming-revenue-half-peakAtlantic City casinos continued their losing streak in 2015, despite improved contributions from their online gambling operations.

The state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement says total land-based gaming revenue for Atlantic City’s eight casinos in the month of December fell 1.2% year-on-year to $177.6m. Counting the $14m earned by the state’s licensed online gambling sites, overall revenue rose 0.6% to $191.6m.

Total land-based gaming revenue in 2015 amounted to just over $2.41b, down 7.8% from 2014’s $2.62b. Counting the online revenue, the annual figure was down 6.5% to $2.56b – or up 3.1% if you discount the 2014 contributions of the four AC casinos that closed their doors that year.

Regardless of how you slice it, 2015’s total is less than half the $5.2b peak the seaside gambling hub reported in 2006, before there was any online contributions and before Pennsylvania and other regional markets launched their own casino operations.

Casino Control Commission chief Matthew Levenson called 2015 a “transitional year” while crediting the online gambling contributions for making the situation look less dire.

Among AC’s eight surviving casinos, the Borgata led the way with $741.9m in combined land-based and online revenue in 2015, a 7.9% gain on 2014’s total. That was nearly twice the sum earned by its closest competitor Harrah’s, which improved 2.5% to $374.3m, while third-place finisher Caesars lost 6.1% to $310.3m.

Along with Caesars, two other AC properties took a step back in 2015, with Bally’s AC falling 6.4% to $210.5m and the Trump Taj Mahal down a worrisome 16.5% to $180.3m.

(It should be noted that numbers for Caesars Entertainment‘s three properties – Harrah’s, Caesars and Bally’s – don’t include the $32.6m earned by Caesars Interactive Entertainment, which is technically a standalone entity from the land-based venues.)

The rest were all in growth mode, with the biggest land-based gain coming from AC’s lowest earner. Resorts Casino Hotel gained 16.4% to $162.2m and added a further $6.8m from its online operations. The Tropicana’s combined land-based and online operations gained 5.3% to $312.9m, while the Golden Nugget’s combined total was up an impressive 24.6% to $231.2m.