Atlantic City casinos bounce back, up 31% from a year ago


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Atlantic City’s casinos and racetrack sports betting outlets are bouncing back convincingly from financial woes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, taking in 31% more in August than they did a year earlier, after COVID-19-related closures ended.

Figures released Thursday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show the nine casinos and three horse tracks that offer sports betting won $427.6 million in August, compared with $326.3 million in August 2020, the first full month of restored casino operations after a 3 1/2-month shutdown due to the virus.

The improvement was vast, spanning all three major categories.

In-person gambling revenue was $262.4 million, up nearly 32% from Aug. 2020; internet gambling revenue was $113.2 million, up 29% from a year earlier; and sports betting revenue was $52 million, also up nearly 32%.

“Peak summer in the resort produced promising revenue returns for the city’s casinos,” said Jane Bokunewicz, coordinator of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which studies New Jersey’s gambling industry.

“If pandemic mitigation efforts are successful in lowering transmission rates into the fall and winter and live events continue to return to the resort, we can expect a strong (off-peak) season fueled by continuing demand for experiences,” she said. “The start of the NFL season earlier this month is sure to boost sports gaming revenues moving into the fall.”

“In August 2020, all of Atlantic City’s casino hotels were open, but business was affected by capacity restrictions and other limitations,” added James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “These results demonstrate the casino hotels made strides building customer confidence since reopening.”

All nine casinos posted revenue increases in August compared to a year earlier, led by the Golden Nugget, which was up over 70% to $15.8 million. Tropicana was up nearly 44% to $38 million; Resorts…