$293M in sport bets; Atlantic City casino revenue up 13%

Employees at Rivers Casino and Resort prepare for the opening of its sports betting lounge in Schenectady, N.Y., July 16, 2019. (AP)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Gamblers wagered more than $293 million on sports in New Jersey in August, helping Atlantic City's casinos win 13% more than they did a year ago.

Figures released Thursday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show the nine casinos won nearly $339 million for the month, assisted by sports betting money.

The Borgata won nearly $80 million, up 4.7% from a year ago, and said it had its best summer since it opened in 2003.

The two newest casinos also fared well in August. Hard Rock retained the No. 2 spot in the market with nearly $41 million, up nearly 31% from a year ago.

And the Ocean casino had the best month in its short history, with over $25 million, up more than 25% from a year ago.

Both were in only their second month of operation in August 2018 and were fighting to grab market share in what had been a smaller competitive environment.

"We continue to see strong volumes, highlighted by a 42% increase in our slot business" compared with a year ago, said Michael Donovan, Ocean's senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

He said August saw the casino's highest gross gambling revenue, slot revenue, hotel revenue and non-gaming revenues. And Ocean's sports book did the best of any land-based Atlantic City casino in August, with $1.2 million in sports betting revenue.

The Borgata said it won $219 million in land-based gambling revenue in June, July and August, in what casino president Marcus Glover called "record-breaking success." He attributed the performance in part to significant capital investment in the property and strategic promotions to customers.

Harrah's was the only one of the nine casinos to post a decline in August, at $31.2 million, and that was down less than 1%.

The Golden Nugget won $36.1 million, up nearly 25% from a year ago; Tropicana won $36 million, up less than 1%; Caesars won $30.9 million, up 10.6%, Resorts won $19.4 million, up 7.2%, and Bally's won $19.3 million, up 2.1%.

James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, said the casinos' performance during the summer, traditionally their strongest period, shows that operators have made necessary adjustments to a market that is larger than it was a year ago.

"These results show there is a great deal of customer interest in Atlantic City's offerings," he said.

The Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, just outside New York City, continued to dominate New Jersey's sports betting market, with nearly $11.9 million in revenue in August, compared with just over $3 million a year earlier.

Monmouth Park in Oceanport, near the Jersey shore, had just over $2 million in revenue, up from nearly $899,000 a year ago.

Resorts Digital had nearly $6.7 million in revenue, up from $2.9 million a year ago.

The state's casinos and tracks collectively made $25.2 million in revenue on the $293 million in bets they handled in August.


Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC


This story has been corrected to show that the casinos and tracks collectively handled $293 million in sports bets in August, not $339 million.