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Online gambling growth continues in Atlantic City

The latest online gambling stats from Atlantic City were released by the New Jersey Division for Gaming Enforcement Friday and show that in December 2017 online operators saw revenue growth drop beneath 20 percent for the first time in months, although at just under 13 percent year-on-year it was still in double digit positive territory.

Overall, online operations generated $20.8 million in December, with online casino action delivering $18.8 million (up 12.9 percent year-on-year) and poker contributing $1.9 million (down 7.8 percent y-o-y.)

That brings total online revenue for 2017 to $245.6 million, a year-on-year rise of almost 25 percent and double 2014's total of $122.9 million. It includes a remarkable ten consecutive months in which online GGR has exceeded $20 million.

On an annual basis, Golden Nugget led the online sector, delivering $68.5 million of internet revenues, with Borgata, Caesars Interactive-NJ, Resorts Digital and Tropicana closely bunched behind, with online revenues ranging from $42.5 to $48.5 million.

Turning to land gambling revenue, the DGE revealed that in December 2017 Atlantic City casinos saw gambling revenue increase for the second year in a row after a dismal decade in which five of the city’s 12 casinos shut down, eliminating 11,000 jobs.

The seven casinos won $2.66 billion in FY 2017, an increase of 2.2 percent over 2016, with Borgata and Tropicana the top two performers. Borgata won more than $800 million from gamblers, by far the most in the city with revenues up 4.4 percent year-on-year, whilst Tropicana delivered $390 million, an increase of 14.6 percent.

Harrah’s was next at $363 million, an increase of 1.6 percent, followed by Caesars at $325 million (up 7.6 percent); the Golden Nugget at $288 million (up 14.4 percent); Bally’s at $211 million (up 0.1 percent); and Resorts at $190 million (up 10 percent).

“Every single casino won more, and every internet operation reported increased win last year,” said James Plousis, the new chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “Total internet win had its fourth straight year of double-digit increases. It shows an industry that is getting stronger and healthier and well-positioned for the future.”

Observers have noted that casino competition is likely to be more intense in the future, with two of the five casinos that shut down in recent years due to reopen this summer: Revel, which closed in 2014, is scheduled to reopen as the Ocean Resort Casino, and the Trump Taj Mahal, which closed in 2016 and will reopen as a Hard Rock casino resort.

On a more sober note, analysts noted that land casino revenues in December dipped 0.5 percent at $206.9 million.

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