Atlantic City casino revenue fell for the second straight month in March as the weather gods conspired to keep gamblers away.
Official numbers released Thursday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) showed the seaside gaming hub’s seven casinos generated brick-and-mortar gaming revenue of $192.9m in March, down 3.6% from the same month last year but up substantially from the $170m earned in the short month of February.
Counting March’s record performance by the state’s licensed online gambling operators, the overall revenue figure was down a slightly more tolerable 1.5% year-on-year to $218.5m.
March’s brick-and-mortar revenue decline was entirely due to the casinos’ gaming tables. While total slots revenue of $137.2m was virtually unchanged from March 2017, table game revenue dropped 11.5% to $55.6m.
The table slump wasn’t simply a case of gamblers getting lucky. Table drop was down across the board, with some venues like Caesars Atlantic City reporting drop falling by as much as one-third year-on-year.
New Jersey Casino Control Commission chairman James Plousis told the Associated Press that the “four nor’easters” that hit the east coast in March certainly didn’t help convince gamblers to venture outside in the direction of a casino.
Only three of AC’s casinos were in positive revenue territory for the month, led (as always) by the market-leading Borgata, which reported revenue rising 0.6% to $60.3m. Harrah’s was up 7% to $31.6m while the month’s biggest gainer in percentage terms was the Golden Nugget, which improved 17.6% to $19.4m.
Among the four decliners, Caesars led the pack, falling a whopping 25.2% to $21.9m, as its table game revenue fell by more than one-half, negating a modest slots revenue gain.
Over the first quarter of 2018, total brick-and-mortar win is down 8.3% to $525.3m, with slots falling 5.7% to $370.9m and table games off 14% to $154.4m. By comparison, total online gambling revenue is up 17.3% to $69.5m over the same span.
Atlantic City’s casino profits improved significantly last year, but that streak could halt with the arrival of two more casinos – Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino – later this year. On Wednesday, Hard Rock International revealed that it will announce the opening date of its AC venue at a press conference on April 18 at 11am.