Atlantic City casinos see first monthly decline of 2017

Atlantic City's casinos saw their first monthly revenue decline of the year in April, with the amount of money won from gamblers declining by 1.6 percent.

But that figure includes the now-shuttered Trump Taj Mahal casino, which closed in October. When the Taj Mahal is excluded, the seven surviving casinos saw a revenue increase of nearly 6 percent in April compared to a year ago.

Figures released Friday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show the casinos won $211.6 million in April.

Internet gambling was up 22.6 percent for the month at $20.8 million, compared to the $16.9 million in brought in a year ago.

"Every one of the operating casinos won more at their slot machines last month than in April 2016, and every property that offers internet gambling reported healthy increases as well," said Matt Levinson, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. "The win from table games declined last month, in large part because players were luckier this April than in last April. Swings like that have to be expected. It is, after all, gambling."

Figures for the first quarter of this year show an overall increase of 3.8 percent for the industry as a whole, and 11 percent for the seven currently operating casinos.

Only Harrah's (down 7.2 percent to $26.9 million) and Bally's (down 5.3 percent to $17.1 million) experienced revenue declines in April.

The Golden Nugget was up more than 17 percent compared to a year ago, at $23.4 million.

The Tropicana was up 16.6 percent to $32.2 million; Caesars was up 12.9 percent to $27.8 million, and Borgata was up 4.5 percent to a market-leading $62.6 million. Resorts was up 0.6 percent to $13.9 million.

The Golden Nugget took over the top spot in New Jersey's thriving internet gambling market, with $5.3 million in online winnings. Borgata was second at $4.2 million, while Tropicana, Resorts Digital and Caesars Interactive-NJ were closely grouped in the $3.5 million to $3.9 million range.

The year-to-year comparison for the industry as a whole is hurt by the absence of the nearly $15 million that the Taj Mahal won in April 2016.

But things are looking up for the Taj — and for Atlantic City as a whole: Hard Rock International has bought the casino from billionaire Carl Icahn for $50 million, and it will reopen it in summer 2018 under the Hard Rock brand.


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