The latest report on Atlantic City casinos shows gambling venues in the city continue to struggle.
According to available information, nine land-based facilities doing business in Atlantic City generated $148.2 million in slot machines and table games revenue during February, which represents a drop of 32.1% when compared to the same month of last year.
It should be noted that February 2020 was a difficult period for comparison. Thirteen months ago, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy ordered all casinos in Atlantic City to cease their land-based operations. They remained closed until summer and were reopened a weekend ahead of July 4.
Online Went Up
The good news is the annual drop in gross gaming revenue was offset by excellent online gambling and sports betting performance during February.
Online vertical and interactive poker fees earned $93.8 million in revenue for Atlantic City casinos and their online partners. That figure is an 80.4% rise from February 2020. At the same time, sports betting took home $46.2 million, while the total handle reached $742.9 million.
In total, gaming revenue from all channels amounted to $288.2 million, which is a slight, but significant increase of 0.3% from last year’s February.
Lifting Restrictions Gave Results
In early February, Governor Murphy lifted restrictions on indoor gatherings, lifting casinos’ floor capacity to 35%. On the same day, restaurants were allowed to serve food and beverage after 10 pm, meaning casinos could once again serve meals and drinks all day and night. Due to restrictions on capacity, entertainment, and other amenities enforced since March 2020, casino win could not compare to results set before that period.
The indoor dining restrictions were lifted two days before Super Bowl LV. The game between Tampa Bay Buccaneers was very popular among bettors, drawing $117.4 million in wagers, with 11.3 million won by sportsbooks. Thanks to the game, the 2021 handle went up by 116% from last year’s $54.3 million.
The total handle in February saw a year-on-year drop of $200 million.
Atlantic City Ready for Visitors
According to available information, around 12% of the population in the United States has been fully vaccinated, while 22% of the country has received the first dose.
New Jersey is among the leading states in vaccine distribution. Around 13% of residents in Garden State have been fully vaccinated, while 25% have received at least one dose. Due to these promising numbers, Governor Murphy allowed Atlantic City casino to once again increase their capacity last week to 50%.
James Plousis, the state Casino Control Commission chair, said that Governor Murphy’s order to increase the indoor occupancy at Atlantic City’s casinos made an important difference, helping them improve the industry’s recovery pace. He pointed out that casinos had given their best to minimize risk to their visitors and added the time was right to move forward in a safe manner.