Atlantic City casinos start 2017 right thanks to hot gaming tables


atlantic-city-hot-gaming-tables-caesarsAtlantic City’s casinos started 2017 off on the right foot as all seven gaming venues posted year-on-year gains in January.

Figures released Tuesday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show brick-and-mortar gaming revenue of $185.9m in January, up nearly 6% from the same month last year. Counting the $18.8m from the casinos’ online gambling sites and the annual gain is an impressive 15.2%.

January’s brick-and-mortar gains came almost entirely courtesy of the casinos’ table games, which reported an 18.3% year-on-year surge to $62.2m. By comparison, slot machine win managed only a 0.6% rise to $123.6m.

The January numbers also got a boost due to the weather, as January 2016 was hit hard by winter storm Jonas, a deep freeze that New Jersey Casino Control Commission chairman Matt Levinson said “effectively wiped out a full weekend last year.” However, January 2017 also had fewer weekend days than January 2016, so call it a wash.

The market-leading Borgata’s online gambling offering may have lost some of its luster but its land-based operations had another stellar month, accounting for nearly one-third of January’s brick-and-mortar revenue with $60.5m, a gain of 16.2% from the same month last year. The total was the property’s best January performance on record.

The month’s biggest gainer was Caesars Atlantic City, which shot up 41.1% to $28.2m, just enough to push another Caesars Entertainment property, Harrah’s, into third place with $28.1m. Caesars Atlantic City’s rise came courtesy of its table games, which earned $14.1m in January versus just $6.6m one year ago, thanks to a 27% rise in table drop and table win shooting up from 15.6% last year to 26% this January.

Atlantic City operators are hoping January’s run of good luck is further evidence that their decade-long swoon is well and truly over. Last year saw AC’s seven surviving casinos post their first annual revenue improvement since the market peaked in 2006.