All that talk about Atlantic City revenue declining seems to be a sham. Well not really. I mean casinos are still face the very real prospect of closing down. And people’s jobs are on the line. But there is some good news out the east coast’s Las Vegas.
Even with the closure of the Atlantic Club, plus the impending closures of two other casinos, Atlantic City casino gambling revenue is actually up. The casinos that were in operation in both 2014 and 2014 at this time increased their revenues collectively by 4% in June.
We’re talking about an increase of $9.5 million. Last year, the casinos took in $227.1 million. During the same period this year (June 2014), the casinos took in $235.9 million.
So what’s the deal with the upswing? Well, the extra cash can be attributed to the money raked in through Internet casino gambling, which only came into effect in November 2013.
It turns out that while online gambling isn’t bringing the state as much money as they had hoped, the land-based properties are still making money off the fact that Internet gambling was legalized.
Borgata seems to be taking home the lion’s share, leading the pack with $3.4 million in online winnings in June. Caesars was right behind with $2.6 million and Tropicana is on the upswing with $1.7 million.
So the question is, with online casinos bringing in some money, can offline casino jobs be saved? The simple answer seems to be no. The jobs being affected are mostly frontline jobs, like dealers, cocktail waitresses, hotel staff, and others.
The online gambling world doesn’t require any of those, or at least it doesn’t think it does. I still see a way to save these jobs, but the properties need to think outside the box. I’d like to see more crossover promotions that bring players into the casino and blend online play with live action. Borgata is doing it right now with a tournament series that takes place half online and half live. More Atlantic City properties should think like this.
They should also improve their promotions. It’s clear that Prism Casinos bonuses are way better than anything you’d find in New Jersey, primarily because the guys marketing their online portal are the same folks marketing the land-based property. They don’t realize that what works live doesn’t necessarily work online.
If they keep thinking the way they do, New Jersey gambling won’t be able to sustain their June numbers and we’re in for more dismal news of hotel closures on the boardwalk.