Half of Atlantic City’s surviving casinos show gains in June
The Atlantic City casinos that survived a major shakeout last year are collectively continuing to see an increase in their gambling revenue.
Data released by New Jersey regulators Tuesday show that four of the eight remaining casinos brought more in gambling winnings in June than they did in the same month a year ago. Collectively, the gambling winnings for the eight were up by 5.5 percent last month from June of last year.
Some of the improvements were big -- Borgata, Golden Nugget and Resorts all saw revenues jump by at least 16 percent. Only one casino -- Trump Taj Mahal -- had a double-digit decrease.
But when including the June 2014 revenue for the four casinos that have closed since then, the city's overall gambling winnings were down by 8.2 percent, continuing a long slump for a resort city that's being hit hard by increased gambling competition in nearby states.
The trends are similar for the first half of the year, with current operators seeing gambling revenue up by 4.2 percent over the first half of last year but overall casino winnings down by 10.1 percent when accounting for the shuttered casinos.
Atlantic City boosters and New Jersey officials hoped the advent of legal online gambling in 2013 would be a major boost. Online gambling, which is offered only to bettors who are physically in New Jersey, got off to a slower star than projected, but it has continued to grow.
In June, online gambling revenue was up 22.8 percent and for the first half of the year, it rose by 14.2 percent. Golden Nugget's online gambling revenue jumped more than threefold from June 2014 to last month.
But the overall online growth -- $2.2 million in June -- does not come close to offsetting the $21.6 million in decline in casino revenue for the same period.
New Jersey lawmakers have begun talking about allowing casinos in other parts of the state. But state Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Tuesday that the issue would not be on the ballot this November.
A measure would have needed to have been introduced by Tuesday so lawmakers could vote by Aug. 3 to add it to the ballot.
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