An interesting story is coming out of New Jersey once again. This one has to do with both land-based casinos and online casinos. And it’s a good news, bad news story.
First, the good news. Online casino revenues in the state are up in March over the previous month. In fact, New Jersey casino properties rakes in about 15 percent more last month than they did in February. That means players are embracing the online casino and poker world in the regulated New Jersey market.
In case you haven’t been following, New Jersey recently regulated online poker and Internet casinos. Since November 2014, Atlantic City casino properties have been able to offer their games to online customers.
Many players are still choosing to play at Internet casinos that are based outside of New Jersey, like Prism Casino for example, but those who like the convenience of a loyalty card that works online and off are choosing New Jersey online casinos.
They aren’t, however, choosing to play live. Revenue for physical casinos in March was $221 million. Compared to 2013 figures of the same month, that’s a 7 percent decline.
That’s not to say that all casinos are losing badly. Some are winning. Revel Casino saw a jump of 50 percent to $14.7 million. Golden Nugget and Resorts Casino Hotel both jumped up 20 percent. Tropicana even climbed up 10 percent.
But a number of casinos saw their revenues drop significantly. Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino fell 31 percent. Bally’s dropped 18 percent. Trump Taj Mahal was down 19 percent. And Showboat Casino Hotel was down 17 percent.
The only relatively stable casino was Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. They happen to lead the online revenue market, taking control of both the online poker and online casino market in the Garden State.
The drop in revenue at the land-based property is fairly significant, especially for an area that’s been hardly hit by tourism. We can expect these numbers to drop even further if Atlantic City doesn’t get its act together and put some major spending money into its land-based properties.
That’s especially true with neighboring states planning a number of land-based properties. As the online experience tells us, casino players love shiny new things. A freshly built resort casino could attract players in record numbers. And that could leave Atlantic City with an even bigger problem than they have now.