Atlantic City’s casino operators reported total gaming revenue up nearly one-quarter in August, driven by new verticals, new properties and a stellar showing at the gaming tables.
According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, August’s total gaming revenue hit $303.9m, a 24.1% rise over the same month last year and over $30m higher than July 2018’s result.
Even when you strip out the nearly $9.2m contributed by the state’s new sports betting licensees and the $24.8m earned by the state’s online gambling licensees, August’s brick-and-mortar gaming revenue still came in at just under $270m, 20.7% higher than August 2017’s total.
AC’s casinos saw double-digit growth in both verticals, as slots revenue rose 18.3% to $196.4m and table games shot up nearly 28% to $75.5m. August’s gains helped compensate for the weather-related slowdowns that plagued 2018’s early months. For the year-to-date, total brick-and-mortar win is up 1.2% to $1.66b.
Despite the positive numbers, most of AC’s casinos were in negative territory in August, with Bally’s leading the four decliners by falling 10.7% to $18.7m. The biggest gainer was the Golden Nugget, which improved 2.9% to $20.5m, while the Borgata (as usual) led all casinos with nearly $70.9m (+0.7%).
The bulk of the gains came from AC’s two new venues, the Hard Rock Atlantic City and the Ocean Resort Casino, both of which launched in late June. The Hard Rock had a solid showing, earning nearly $30.8m, although this was down from $32.4m in July. The Hard Rock ranked fourth among AC’s nine land-based operators.
Ocean Resort had a better month-to-month comparison, rising to $19.6m from July’s $15.8m, eclipsing the totals of both Bally’s and Resorts Casino Hotel ($18m, -3.4%).
The Tropicana earned $32.2m in August, second only to the Borgata. Thursday brought word that the DGE had granted interim approval to Eldorado Resorts’ proposed takeover of Tropicana Entertainment, the Trop’s parent company.
The Borgata’s revenue is likely to take a major swoon when September’s numbers are released, as the property issued a nearly $2.5m progressive jackpot to a Hawthorne woman on Saturday, September 1. The lucky girl hit the Wheel of Fortune Double Sapphire Gold Spin payday on what she claimed was her first spin on the machine. Typical.