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Atlantic City Needs Sports Betting As Casino Winnings Plummet In May

Seaside Gambling Town Needs A Lifeline


Atlantic City could sure use a boost.

Just one day before the first New Jersey gambling facility planned to take its first sports bets thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling last month, state gaming regulators announced that Atlantic City’s seven brick-and-mortar casinos won 7.2 percent less in May than they did in May 2017.

Based upon filings with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, casino win from the industry for May was $193.4 million compared to $208.3 million in May 2017. Fortunately for the industry, internet gaming win was $24.3 million in May compared to $21.1 million in the prior period, reflecting an increase of 15.3 percent year-over-year.

Taken together, the industry’s total gaming win for the month was $217.7 million compared to $229.4 million for May 2017, reflecting a 5.1 percent decrease.

Through the first five months of the year, the industry’s casino win totaled $910.1 million compared to $971.8 million during the same period in 2017, reflecting a decrease of 6.3 percent. Internet gaming win increased 15.5 percent to $116.9 million through May. Total gaming win was $1.027 billion, reflecting a decrease of 4.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

Atlantic City’s recovery has been surprisingly short-lived after the past two calendar years saw small upticks in the industry’s total gaming win. Revenues declined for about a decade after reaching a high of $5.2 billion in 2006.

The industry’s gross operating profit in the first quarter of 2018 was $123.6 million, down 11.7 percent compared to the first quarter of last year.

Atlantic City’s brick-and-mortar casino count will rise to nine when Hard Rock Atlantic City (formerly Trump Taj Mahal) and Ocean Resort Casino (formerly Revel) begin taking bets on June 28. A handful of years ago, Atlantic City had 12 casinos.

On Monday, New Jersey’s governor signed a sports betting bill that will allow the state’s racetracks and casinos to offer traditional sports wagering.

According to, the Borgata, Atlantic City’s top grossing casino, was expected to kick off sports betting at 11 a.m. Thursday. “The Borgata is renaming its horse-racing parlor The Race & Sports Book until it finishes a new sports-wagering facility,” a report said.

Borgata controlled about 30 percent of Atlantic City’s entire gambling market through May, according to state figures. However, its $305.1 million in gaming win was down 6.1 percent year-over-year.

The U.S. sports betting market is expected to reach $4b-$6b within the next five years.