May 15, 2024

Visitor Numbers Down at Atlantic City Casinos While Online Gambling Soars

Key Takeaways:

Visitor Numbers Down at Atlantic City Casinos While Online Gambling Soars
  • Atlantic City land casinos struggle to reach pre-pandemic visitor numbers despite a rise in in-person gambling revenue.
  • New Jersey's online gambling and sports betting markets set new records, highlighting a shift in player preferences.
  • Proposed legislation could see a significant tax increase for New Jersey's online gambling and sports betting revenues.

In the ever-evolving world of gambling, a fascinating trend has emerged from the heart of New Jersey. While the state's online gambling market is hitting jackpot after jackpot, Atlantic City's iconic casinos are facing a different kind of luck. Recent figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) have painted a vivid picture of this contrasting fortune, signaling a seismic shift in where and how gamblers are placing their bets.

The Digital Gold Rush

March was a milestone month for New Jersey's virtual casinos and sportsbooks, setting a new monthly record with a whopping $197 million won from casino games and a hefty $1.33 billion in sports bets. This surge caps off a quarter that saw online gambling revenue soar by 19.4% compared to last year, with online slots leading the charge. The total haul from casino winnings, internet gambling, and sports betting revenue exceeded $526 million, marking an 8.1% increase from March 2023.

Atlantic City's Mixed Bag

However, it's not all champagne and roulette wheels for Atlantic City's land-based casinos. Despite a 5% increase in in-person gambling revenue from last year, reaching $239 million in March, the shadow of the pandemic still looms large. Only two of the city's nine casinos surpassed their pre-pandemic in-person winnings, hinting at a lingering hesitation among visitors to return in full force.

The Future of New Jersey's Gambling Landscape

The burgeoning success of online gambling in New Jersey, coupled with the potential for a significant tax hike from 15% and 13% to 30% on gross gaming revenue, as proposed by Senator John McKeon, could redefine the future of gambling in the state. With online slots and sports betting leading the digital charge, Atlantic City's casinos face the challenge of adapting to a landscape where the click of a mouse is becoming more appealing than the thrill of the casino floor.

A Tale of Two Industries

The contrasting fortunes of Atlantic City's land-based casinos and New Jersey's online gambling sector underscore a broader shift in the gambling industry. As online platforms continue to set records and attract players with the convenience and variety they offer, traditional casinos must find new ways to lure visitors back. Whether through enhanced experiences, unique attractions, or leveraging the burgeoning sports betting market, Atlantic City's casinos are at a crossroads, navigating the delicate balance between tradition and innovation.

As we move forward, the question remains: Can Atlantic City reinvent itself once again, or will the digital world claim the lion's share of New Jersey's gambling heart? Only time will tell, but one thing is clear—the cards have been dealt, and the stakes have never been higher.

Engage with Us

What's your take on this shift from land-based to online gambling? Do you think Atlantic City can bounce back, or is the allure of online betting too strong to resist? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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