Atlantic City used to be the hub of casino gaming throughout the 20th century, alongside Nevada giant Las Vegas. Its collection of 24-hour, around the clock casino action drove millions upon millions through its gates year in, year out. It was, for many years, the place everybody wanted to go. The experience was said to be awe-inspiring, thrilling, an all round adrenaline rush, with glitzy lights, hotels as tall as the eye could see and grand shows with some of the most popular artists ever to set foot on the stage, such as the Blue Men, Barry Manilow and Tom Jones.
Flash forward to 2016 and, unfortunately, things aren’t quite the same as they used to be.
Over the last nine years, Atlantic City has lost over half of its revenue. This dreadful news came Wednesday, only hours after a bill was introduced to expand casino gambling to the northern part of the state. More casinos, according to Moody’s Investors Service, would be ‘particularly bad news for the already struggling Atlantic City gaming market.’
The added competition in the already struggling market will only make things worse in the long-run, as there isn’t enough demand to keep all of the current casinos afloat as it is.
“In our view,’ according to Moody’s, ‘the additional competition will likely cause more casinos to close.’
Overall, according to the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, revenue from the city’s eight prominent casinos dropped by 6.5% in 2015, taking an overall $5.2 billion. If we were to only take into account these eight casinos though, then revenue is actually up by around 3.1%.
Three casinos fell victim to the rocky market in 2014; The Atlantic Club, Revel, Showboat and presidential candidate Donald Trump’s Trump Plaza.
It seems, however, for the time being, that the current arrangement of casinos the city has to offer has stabilised, and that they are to continue trading for the foreseeable future.
Mayor Don Guardian, who has been nurturing a breaking city for the last nine years, was sure that the casinos that remain are here to stay, but is wary of the new proposal to add more casinos to the struggling city.
“Now there are 30-something casinos in the north-east, and we’re about to have gambling in the northern part of the state. There are more gambling places than there are gamblers willing to gamble.”
The year-end figures for 2015 highlight five of the eight casinos took more in revenue last year that previous years. Golden Nugget Casino improve the most last year after seeing a 24.6% rise rise, or $231.2 million. The Trump Taj Mahal, however, has fared the worst, losing $180.2 million from last years revenue figures.
Internet gambling, on the other hand, showed a healthy 21.2 million increase in New Jersey in 2015.
Could it be then, that internet gambling is sapping away revenues of land based casinos?
Well yes, and no.
You could, on one hand, suggest that online casinos are sapping away at the profits of land based as people simply cannot be bothered going to the casino any more. People would rather play on a high-quality dedicated casino website than traipse to a land based casino many miles away. Since gambling has become so accessible there really is no need to venture out.
On the other hand players might be more inclined to venture to a real casino after experiencing the thrill of the online play. After playing blackjack they might want to experience playing against a real dealer. Unfortunately, with live casino on the rise, this pulling factor might slowly diminish as we progress through these highly digitised times.
The world is slowly shifting online and you’d better keep up! Take a look at our range of amazing casino games and future proof your gaming experience.