Featured in this article:
  • Atlantic City gambling revenues returning to pre-pandemic levels
  • More tourists expected this summer to boost hotel industry
  • Warnings of inflation and strikes could impact next quarter results

3 Minute Read

Atlantic City casinos are returning to pre-pandemic levels of revenue this summer

Atlantic City has finally begun bouncing back following the COVID-19 pandemic as its casinos and sportsbooks post promising year-on-year revenues for May.

The city’s casinos were severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic and forced to close for months, before re-opening with social distancing guidelines in place.

But two years on from the height of the virus and New Jersey’s biggest entertainment industry is back in full flow. According to AP, not only was gambling revenue up 15% in May, but it almost matched the figures for May 2019.

New Jersey’s casinos, horse tracks that offer sports betting and the online partners of both types of gambling earned $430.6m from gamblers in May. Borgata led the market last month with $63.3m earned from gambling activity – up 30% from 2021.

The likes of Hard Rock, Ocean, Bally’s, Caesars and Tropicana also enjoyed increases from the previous year. Tax breaks have also helped.

It is further proof that Atlantic City is coming through the worst of the pandemic, as tourists return to the resort to test their luck at the tables.

Occupancy rates in Atlantic City hotel rooms are 11% higher than they were a year ago. This is expected to grow further during the summer, which in turn will push up non-gambling revenue.

Atlantic City casino revenues

Atlantic City’s casino revenues dipped during the height of the COVID pandemic

Inflation Worries Could Hit Atlantic City

However, it’s not all good news for the resort. Harrah’s, Resorts and Golden Nugget were all down year-on-year in May. And Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, warns inflation means tourists will have less to spend on gambling and other forms of entertainment during their visits over the summer months.

America’s inflation rate is around 8% and that will have an impact when people choose how to spend their dollars.

“Inflation may be beginning to impact in-person gaming revenues,” she said. “Brick-and-mortar gross gaming revenue totals for the month, expected to improve over last month’s $235.3m, were effectively flat at $233m, down less than 1%.”

Inflation impacts on industries other than gaming and entertainment, and very few industries are immune to price fluctuations.

But James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, believes Atlantic City is in a good place to remain economically strong over the coming months.

“The volume of activity in Atlantic City’s casino hotels has been robust and, coupled with a maturing online gaming business, can be a powerful combination,” he said.

Yet there could be further bad news on the horizon with reports Atlantic City casino workers have voted to strike on July 4th unless new contracts are agreed.

The likes of Caesars, Harrah’s, Tropicana, Borgata, and Hard Rock casinos all have workers seeking real terms pay rises, under the Unite Here Local 54 union.

The casinos have until July 1st to respond with an offer, with the union claiming staff deserve a pay rise after helping the industry through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

Back To Top
Back To Top