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Atlantic City Casinos Take $200M Nosedive Amid COVID-19 Crisis

The Golden Nugget took in the most money of any Atlantic City casino in April because it has the most successful internet operation.
The Golden Nugget took in the most money of any Atlantic City casino in April because it has the most successful internet operation. Photo Credit: Golden Nugget Atlantic City Facebook

Coronavirus spelled bad luck for Atlantic City's casinos. 

Closed by the COVID-19 epidemic on March 16, the Garden State's gambling hub took in about 69 percent less money in April 2020 than last April -- bolstered only by a more than doubling in internet betting proceeds.

All totaled, casino revenue fell by nearly $200 million last month from a year ago. The silver lining was that online gambling revenues rose by nearly 120 percent year-to-year, collecting an additional $43 million.

According to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, the city's nine seaside resorts collected about $83 million in revenue in April, almost all of it from online gambling. All casino revenue in April 2019 totaled about $265 million.

April’s losses easily erased the previous record set in March of this year when total betting revenue was down 44 percent. The prior record losses were recorded in November 2012 after Superstorm Sandy, which closed New Jersey casinos for nine days.

The Golden Nugget took in the most money of any Atlantic City casino in April because it has the most successful internet operation. It saw $27.6 million in revenue for the month, a decline of 6% from April 2019.

Two casinos, Harrah’s and Caesars, reported no revenue at all for April: no in-person casino winnings, because of the COVID closures, and no internet or sports betting revenue.

Atlantic City market leader Borgata’s revenue fell 73% to nearly $16 million. Resorts reported no revenue at all, though its internet gambling affiliate, Resorts Digital, saw its revenue increase by nearly 41% to $16.7 million.

Bally’s took in $20,000 in sports betting revenue. The Ocean Casino Resort was down 92.5% to $1.2 million, most of it made online. Hard Rock was down nearly 82% to $4.5 million. Tropicana was down nearly 79% to just under $6 million.

Sports wagering also was down in April compared to a year ago including about $12 million less betting revenue collected at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park racetracks.

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