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Atlantic City Casinos Weather Winter Decline

Discover how severe winter weather influenced Atlantic City's casino market, leading to a decline in in-person revenue but a surge in online gaming and sports betting activity. Explore insights from industry experts and the outlook for the future.
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Branimir Ivanov | Senior News Contributor

Updated: Mar 2, 2024

Atlantic City Casinos Weather Winter Decline

In January 2024, Atlantic City's casino market experienced a dip in in-person casino winnings compared to the previous year, largely influenced by adverse winter weather conditions, as reported by Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University.

Bokunewicz pointed out that the severe weather likely redirected foot traffic from physical casinos to online platforms, resulting in a surge in internet gaming and online sports betting revenues. Despite the decrease in in-person casino earnings, the overall revenue exceeded pre-COVID-19 levels from January 2019.

 

The Key Notions

  1. Impact of Winter Weather: Harsher winter conditions in January 2024 diverted foot traffic from physical casinos to online platforms, resulting in a decline in in-person casino winnings compared to the previous year.
  2. Rise of Online Gaming and Sports Betting: The decrease in in-person revenue was offset by a surge in internet gaming and online sports betting, indicating a shift in consumer behavior and preferences toward digital gambling channels.
  3. Mixed Performance of Casinos: While some casinos, notably the Borgata, Hard Rock, and Ocean, managed to surpass their pre-pandemic levels of in-person revenue, the majority of Atlantic City's casinos are still struggling to recover to pre-COVID-19 levels, highlighting ongoing challenges in the industry.

 

The total in-person casino winnings for January 2024 amounted to slightly over $205 million, marking a 3.1% decline from the prior year. Nevertheless, this figure surpassed the collective in-person gambling revenue from January 2019.

The Borgata, Hard Rock, and Ocean casinos emerged as the primary contributors to offsetting the overall revenue decline. These establishments were the only ones to surpass their in-person gambling revenue from four years prior. However, the majority of Atlantic City's nine casinos have yet to reclaim pre-pandemic levels of in-person revenue. James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, underscored the persistent competitive edge provided by online gaming and sports wagering, particularly during Atlantic City's off-season.

 

 

Despite facing challenges posed by harsh winter weather conditions, the Atlantic City casino industry continues to adapt, leveraging the success of online platforms to supplement in-person revenue, ensuring competitiveness in the market.

 

 

New Jersey's casinos and tracks witnessed a record-breaking month in sports betting, with a total of $1.71 billion worth of sports bets placed in January, surpassing the previous record set in November. The Meadowlands Racetrack near New York City reported a significant surge in sports betting revenue, up 137% from the previous year. Similarly, Monmouth Park near the Jersey Shore saw a notable increase. However, Freehold Raceway experienced a decline compared to the prior year.

 

The Conclusions

In terms of combined revenue from in-person, internet, and sports betting, several casinos reported positive growth in January 2024. The Borgata, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock, Ocean, and Tropicana all recorded increases in revenue, while others saw declines.

Despite facing challenges posed by harsh winter weather conditions, the Atlantic City casino industry continues to adapt by leveraging the success of online platforms to supplement in-person revenue, ensuring competitiveness in the market.

Looking ahead, industry experts anticipate further growth in online gaming and sports betting, driven by technological advancements and changing consumer preferences. As the landscape evolves, Atlantic City's casinos are poised to capitalize on emerging opportunities and maintain their position as a premier gaming destination on the East Coast.

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