Online gambling keeping Atlantic City casinos in the black


atlantic-city-casinos-online-gambling-revenueAtlantic City casinos had their fortunes buoyed yet again last month by New Jersey’s online gambling operations.

According to the latest stats from the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, total brick-and-mortar gaming revenue in the seaside casino hub totaled $186.6m in February, down 1.8% from the same month last year.

However, if you discount the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal, the seven surviving casinos enjoyed a 4.9% year-on-year revenue gain. Throw in the $18.7m generated last month by the casinos’ online gambling operations and total gaming win was up 6.6% to $205.4m.

All but two of the seven casinos posted year-on-year gains in February, but the market-leading Borgata saw its total slip 0.7% to just under $58.2m. The other decliner, Caesars Entertainment’s Bally’s AC, was down 4.7% to $16.3m.

The month’s biggest gainer was the Tropicana, which saw its total shoot up over 28% to $28.3m. The second-biggest gainer was Resorts, which rose 21.4%, but this wasn’t good enough to elevate Resorts from its cellar-dweller status at just $15.1m.

AC got a boost earlier this month after the Florida-based Hard Rock International announced a deal to acquire and reopen the shuttered Taj Mahal as a casino. Well, it’s good for the city not having another major building hosting nothing more than mothballs, but the other seven casinos may not be too keen on having another gaming revenue mouth to feed.

Another one of AC’s long-dormant white elephants got a new lease on life on Monday, although its casino days remain a thing of the past. The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, the first of five AC casinos to close its doors since 2014, has been sold to R&R Development Group, which plans to invest $135m to transform the venue into a hotel and indoor water park that hopes to open this fall.

R&R is run by Ronald Young, who told the Associated Press that he never contemplated reopening the Atlantic Club as a casino, saying “I don’t even want to say the ‘C’ word.” AC’s other casino operators are likely extremely grateful at Young’s lack of casino ambition, thereby relieving them of the necessity of referring to him behind his back by a very different ‘C’ word.