Atlantic City Casinos Foresee Revenue Decline Amidst Growing New York Competition

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The Atlantic City casino scene is changing as seven of the nine establishments have reported a decline in in-person revenue as compared to levels before the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the notable operators impacted include Hard Rock, which owns and operates its namesake resort, and Caesars, which together with Tropicana and Harrah’s manages its eponymous facility.

Atlantic City residents and business owners are worried about the imminent arrival of three New York City casino resorts modeled after Las Vegas. These establishments will provide slot machines, live dealer table games, and sports betting which are many of the city’s staples. Many believe this new development will hurt the once-great casino beach town.

Some well-known casino companies are already expected to bid for gambling licenses in New York. Among them are Greenwood Gaming (Parx), the Chickasaw Nation, Mohegan, Bally’s, Genting, Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts, and MGM Resorts. Along with a $500 million licensing fee, each of these firms is expected to pour billions of dollars into New York City’s integrated resorts.

The president of Resorts Casino Hotel and the Casino Association of New Jersey, Mark Giannantonio, emphasizes the need for Atlantic City resorts to keep improving their offerings to boost the destination’s appeal in the two years before New York casinos open, even though a casino in upstate New Jersey could have a further effect.

But it is not all doom and gloom.

The Growth of iGaming in New Jersey

Online casinos have emerged as a serious threat to Atlantic City’s long-standing position as the gambling industry’s dominant leader. Some gamblers no longer see the appeal in visiting Atlantic City’s land-based casinos due to the market’s saturation with nine gaming venues and the owners’ unwillingness to make essential investments to sustain their assets.

Still, fears over the future of brick-and-mortar casinos in New Jersey might have come too early. Data from March 2024 suggests that the retail casino industry will likely have a positive outlook at least for a while.

Currently, small number of operators, such as Caesars Digital, Resorts Casino, and Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG), control the majority of New Jersey’s thriving iGaming sector. These operators leverage well-known brands and platforms to attract players in the state.

Nevertheless, operators in New Jersey’s iGaming business may see their expansion stunted by impending tax rises, which might range from 15% to 30%. With that, the classic Atlantic City brick-and-mortar casinos face both challenges and opportunities from the ever-growing internet gambling industry.