Atlantic City’s newest casinos continue to take market share from their seven rivals, all but one of which suffered gaming revenue declines in November.
On Wednesday, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released its November gaming revenue report, which showed brick-and-mortar gaming win of $209.2m, up 12.9% from the same month last year and $8.6m higher than the casinos won in October 2018.
Both slot machines and table games were up 12.6% year-on-year to $148.4m and $60.8m, respectively. Total gaming revenue – counting November’s online gambling and sports betting contributions – was up one-fifth year-on-year to $247.6m.
On a year-to-date basis, AC’s purely brick-and-mortar casino gaming win is up 3% to $2.3b, leaving it just $110m below 2017’s full-year total, so the market appears on pace to post its third straight year of annual growth. But given the recent declines in the casinos’ profitability, the revenue celebration could be muted.
November marked the second straight month in which six of AC’s ‘original’ seven casinos – the ones operating before this summer’s launch of Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino – suffered year-on-year revenue declines. The Tropicana was the lone survivor in October while November’s outlier was Resorts Casino Hotel, which saw its revenue rise 10% to $16.4m.
The other six casinos were deep-sixed, led as usual by the Borgata ($55.8m, -7.1%), followed by the Tropicana ($25.39m, -3.9%), narrowly edging out third-place finisher Harrah’s $25.35m, which suffered the month’s largest percentage decline at 10.9%.
The new kids on the (board)block were also November negatives, with Hard Rock AC reporting $21.5m, down $1.7m from October’s result and the fifth straight month the property has seen its numbers fall. Ocean Resort earned $11.7m, down $1.4m from October, its third consecutive month of sequential declines.
AC’s troubles extend to its mayor, who pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to assault and harassment charges stemming from an incident outside a Golden Nugget nightclub last month. Mayor Frank Gilliam Jr. didn’t actually appear in court but Councilman Jeffree Fauntleroy II, who was also involved in the fracas, entered a similar ‘not guilty’ plea in person. The pair will likely face a trial early in the new year.