The online contribution to Atlantic City operations in New Jersey continues to grow, with figures from the New Jersey Division for Gaming Enforcement Monday showing that internet gambling win reached $14.7 million, up by 42 percent on February 2015’s $10.4 million.
For the month, online poker contributed 13.5 percent of the total, down from the 19.7 percent it delivered a year ago, whilst online casino contributed 86.5 percent, up from 80.3 percent in February 2015.
Online poker revenues were down 7.4 percent at $1.99 million (February 2015: $2.15 million) whilst online casino revenues increased 2.4 percent y-o-y to $12.76 million.
Among casinos with Internet gambling, the Borgata retained the top spot in the online market, with $4.2 million in Internet revenue, an increase of $13.4 percent from a year ago. The Golden Nugget, Tropicana, and Caesars Interactive-NJ were closely bunched around the No. 2 spot, at around $3 million each.
Resorts hit $1.3 million in Internet revenue, but next week its online partner Pokerstars will begin operating in New Jersey, and the anticipation is that it will provide a major boost to Resorts’ standing.
The Associated Press reports that Atlantic City gambling overall in February produced win results better by 14.7 percent on the same period in 2015. The eight land casinos took in $204.7 million in February this year.
“It’s always positive to see casino revenues going up, and there were a lot of factors that combined to make February a good month,” said Matt Levinson, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “Compared to last year, the weather was great and with Leap Year, last month had one extra day.”
Slot winnings were up 8.9 percent to $130.2 million, while table games winnings were up 23.2 percent to $59.6 million.
In related news, New Jersey voters will be asked in November 2016 whether the state should approve two new casinos in the northern part of the state under a ballot question authorised Monday by the state Legislature.
The Associated Press news agency reports that this will mark the first time in 40 years that the state’s voters will have a say about expanding casino gambling in New Jersey, observing that the result could have far-reaching consequences for Atlantic City, which has already lost more than half its casino revenue to competitors in neighbouring states.
In the referendum, voters will be asked whether to amend the state constitution to repeal a provision that limits casinos only to Atlantic City. It would authorize two new casinos in separate counties at least 72 miles from Atlantic City.
Commenting on the Legislature’s approval of the inclusion of gambling on this year’s referendum, state lawmaker Ralph Caputo said:
“This is a very historic day for New Jersey. In 1976, casinos were approved for Atlantic City. It was a monopoly that existed for many, many years; many people benefited. But conditions change, and when conditions change and you don’t adapt, you become a dinosaur and you become extinct.”
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, was less sanguine, observing that three of his city’s eight remaining casinos will close because of new in-state competition; other officials and Wall Street analysts say as many as four could go under because of the new competition.
Atlantic City has endured a declining market since casinos opened in neighbouring Pennsylvania in late 2006, and worsened when others launched in New York and Delaware.
In 2006, Atlantic City’s casino revenue was $5.2 billion; last year it had fallen to $2.56 billion. In 2014, four of the city’s 12 casinos went out of business.