Commenting on the August 2021 gaming revenue numbers released by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, Jane Bokunewicz, coordinator of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT) at Stockton University, says that Atlantic City’s gaming industry produced promising revenue during the summer peak.
Combined with sports gaming revenue, land-based and online earnings for the month exceeded August 2019 ($338.9 million) by 17.4%. Strong performance by both in-person and online gaming during the peak summer tourism season provides further evidence that brick-and-mortar gaming operations can beneficially coexist with internet gaming operations.
At $113.2 million, August internet gaming revenue fell just shy of July 2021 ($118.7 million), while land-based gaming operations put in a strong showing at $262.4 million.
Total annual gaming revenue for the resort is on track to meet 2019 levels. As of August 2021, total gaming revenue for Atlantic City’s casinos fell just 2% short of the same period in 2019. With four months remaining, year-to-date total gaming revenue for the resort ($2.1 billion) was $1.2 billion behind the year-end total for 2019. Internet gaming has contributed significantly to these gains.
Although land-based gaming revenues have neared 2019 performance levels in recent months, the industry is still trying to recover lost ground from the early part of the year when pandemic related circumstances suppressed in-person gaming activity. Land-based gaming revenue for the year-to-date lags 2019 by 9.7% and with a third of the year remaining is $1.0 billion behind 2019 year-end totals.
If pandemic mitigation efforts are successful in lowering transmission rates into the fall and winter and live events continue to return to the resort, we can expect a strong shoulder season fueled by continuing demand for experiences. The start of the NFL season earlier this month is sure to boost sports gaming revenues moving into the fall.
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