Online gaming up, industry continues down streak in March | News
ATLANTIC CITY — Four nor’easters in March likely had an impact on the resort’s gaming figures as the industry experienced another down month to start 2018.
The industry’s total revenue in March 2018 fell 1.5 percent compared to the same month last year. The industry reported revenues of $218.5 million this year while last March the figure was $221.9 million, according to state gambling figures released Thursday.
March is the third consecutive month where reported gaming revenue was lower than the year prior. January’s decrease from the previous year was 9.9 percent and February’s loss was 6.5 percent.
Meanwhile, internet gaming continued its streak of double-digit increases to start the year. Revenues from internet gaming increased 17.6 percent in March compared to the same time last year, bringing in $25.6 million.
“Online gaming is increasingly important to the bottom line of every casino operator in New Jersey,” said Steve Ruddock, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com, an online gaming advocacy group. “It was a key factor in the gaming industry’s 23.7 percent increase in gross operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2017.”
Casino Control Commission Chairman James Plousis said that the gains from internet gaming were not enough to offset the table gaming losses.
“I don’t know what impact the weather had, but four nor’easters in March sure didn’t help Atlantic City’s casinos,” he said. “Keep in mind, the industry just reported healthy profits for last year and the opening of two new properties this summer should result in growth in the market here.”
For the year-to-date, the industry’s total gaming revenue was $594.9 million, reflecting a decrease of 5.9 percent compared to last year. The casino revenue totaled $525.3 million for 2018 compared to $572.6 million in 2017, reflecting a decrease of 8.3 percent while internet gaming revenue increased 17.3 percent to $69.5 million for 2018.