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New Jersey Gaming Revenue Grows in 2016

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  • Online gaming helps Atlantic City casinos increase revenue in 2016.

Despite a reduction in year-over-year land-based casino revenues, 2016 was a strong year overall for Atlantic City thanks to a huge boost in regulated online gambling.

According to the December 2016 Gaming Revenue Results, a financial report released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, total casino revenue in the Garden State increased by 1.5 percent from $2.563 billion in 2015 to $2.602 billion in 2016. The increase is a higher 4.0 percent when removing revenues from the Trump Taj Mahal Casino, which closed its doors in October.

Land-based casino revenue declined by 0.3 percent from $2.414 billion in 2015 to $2.406 billion in 2016. Once again, this doesn't tell the entire story. If excluding the Taj Mahal, land-based casino revenue actually increased by 2.1 percent from $2.233 billion in 2015 to $2.280 billion in 2016.

Casino2016 Land-Based Revenue2015 Land-Based RevenueIncrease/Decrease
Bally's$210,710,409$210,557,5850.1%
Borgata$722,772,248$696,217,1513.8%
Caesars$302,004,633$310,313,801-2.7%
Golden Nugget$209,684,168$200,261,0544.7%
Harrah's$358,068,502$374,315,063-4.3%
Resorts$173,128,820$162,233,0166.7%
Tropicana$304,149,289$280,070,4558.6%
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Total Current Operators$2,280,518,069$2,233,968,1252.1%
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Trump Taj Mahal Casino$125,494,031$180,269,251-69.6%
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Total Industry$2,406,012,100$2,414,237,376-0.3%

Five of the remaining seven Atlantic City casinos experienced year-over-year land-based gaming revenue increases including Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City (8.6 percent), Resorts Casino Hotel (6.7 percent), Golden Nugget Atlantic City (4.7 percent), Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa (3.8 percent) and Bally's Atlantic City Hotel and Casino (0.1 percent).

Only Harrah's Atlantic City Resort (4.3 percent) and Caesars Atlantic City Hotel and Casino (2.7 percent), both owned by Caesars Entertainment Corporation, experienced year-over-year gaming revenue declines. All was not lost for Caesars in the Garden State, as online revenue increases more than made up for the declines experienced in its land-based casinos.

Regulated Online Gaming in New Jersey Booms

In contrast to the modest gaming revenue increases experienced from land-based casino revenue by existing casinos, regulated online gaming revenue experienced a huge 32.1 percent increase from $148.9 million in 2015 to $196.7 million in 2016.

Casino2016 Online Revenue2015 Online RevenueIncrease/Decrease
Borgata$47,015,036$45,667,2873.0%
Caesars$38,699,334$32,638,15318.6%
Golden Nugget$42,249,830$30,968,18236.4%
Resorts$31,761,839$6,783,831486.2%
Tropicana$36,983,288$32,822,72712.7%
Total Industry$196,709,327$148,880,18032.1%

Resorts Digital led the way with a huge 468.2 percent increase from $6.8 million in revenue in 2015 to $32.8 million in 2016. The reason for the huge increase was primarily due to the launch of PokerStars NJ in March 2016.

Despite Resorts experiencing the biggest online revenue increase, it was in last place in market share at just 16.1 percent. Borgata led the way last year with 23.9 percent of the state's total regulated online gaming revenue. This is down significantly from 2015 when it held a market share of 30.7 percent.

While the decline in market share was partly due to PokerStars NJ launching on the Resorts Digital license, the loss in market share can also be attributed to its 3.0 percent growth rate, the lowest among the five license holders.

Meanwhile, Golden Nugget experienced a 36.4 percent year-over-year increase in online gaming revenues resulting in its market share in 2016 going up to 21.5 percent compared with 20.8 percent a year ago.

Golden Nugget currently offers only online casino games and not online poker. Tropicana, which also offers only online casino games, experienced a modest 12.7 percent year-over-year online gaming revenue increase while Caesars Interactive which offers online poker and online casino games increased by a more healthy 18.6 percent.

If December is any indicator, Golden Nugget could take over from Borgata as the industry leader for 2017. Golden Nugget's online revenues grew by a huge 66.9 percent from $2.9 million in December 2015 to $4.8 million in December 2016. It also had the highest market share in December 2016 with 26.0 percent of the $18.4 million in online gaming revenues recorded by all New Jersey online license holders.

*Data contributed by http://www.nj.gov and lead image courtesy of watchdog.org.

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