The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement announced the December 2022 gaming results Jan. 17, which saw the state’s casinos end the year on a high note.
Last month, casino win for the nine Atlantic City casino properties was $215.6 million, an 18% increase versus December 2021 ($211.8 million).
“Even up against strong seasonal and economic headwinds, brick-and-mortar gaming revenues for December 2022 outperformed both December 2021 and December 2019 ($208.55 million) to deliver the strongest December brick-and-mortar revenue returns in 10 years,” said Jane Bokunewicz, faculty director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism (LIGHT), Stockton University School of Business, who analyzed the report. “Despite lower returns in recent months, strong performance early in the year along with a strong December showing set up 2022 year-end, total brick-and-mortar revenues to exceed both year-end 2021 ($2.55 billion) and year-end 2019 ($2.69 billion) totals.”
“Atlantic City’s casino hotels and their employees have been focused on providing exciting amenities and unique in-person experiences to welcome back visitors,” said James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “Year-end results show these efforts are paying off. Casino win not only surpassed pre-pandemic levels, it reached its highest figure in nine years.”
Bokunewicz says these figures may be an indicator that the industry has recovered to pre-pandemic levels of brick-and-mortar gaming activity, which she says is an encouraging sign for the industry as a whole.
“With observed increases in operating expenses in 2022 compared to previous years, we will need to wait for the year-end quarterly reports to see if the 9% increase (2022 over 2021) in brick-and-mortar, year-end total gross gaming revenue translates to an increase in gross operating profit for the industry,” said Bokunewicz.
Total gaming revenue reported by casinos, racetracks and their partners was $454.8 million last month, a 12.5% increase from $404.1 million reported in December 2021.
Year-to-date total gaming revenue was $5.21 billion, which reflects a 10% increase from $4.74 billion last year.
December was also another blockbuster month for internet gaming, with a $151.5 million win reported by casinos and their partners — a 13.7% jump from December 2021. Year-to-date internet gaming win was $1.66 billion, a 21.6% increase over last year.
“Online gaming, 35% of total gross gaming revenue for the year, continues to be a game changer, driving the Atlantic City casino industry to a new near-term record for both December monthly and year-end, total gross gaming revenue,” said Bokunewicz. “The diversification of gaming products to include both online gaming and sports betting has pushed the industry statewide (including racetracks) to totals not seen since 2006. While the rate of online gaming growth may be slowing, relative to pandemic-boosted acceleration seen at the start of 2020, the maturing online gaming market is fast becoming a staple of the industry’s consumer offerings.”
“Record internet gaming win pushed Atlantic City’s total gaming revenue to its highest level since 2007,” said Plousis. “In December alone, the operators collectively reported the highest monthly internet gaming win since internet gaming commenced in New Jersey.”
Plousis added that Atlantic City last year demonstrated its strength as a regional destination for discerning gaming and leisure tourists.
“Reinvestments recently made in the casino hotels have improved competition and will continue to pay dividends not only for the properties and their customers, but also the city, the region, and the state well into the future,” said Plousis.
“Looking forward to 2023, Atlantic City’s operators are expected to continue diversifying and evolving both their gaming and nongaming offerings to deliver a competitive customer experience in an increasingly crowded regional gaming market,” said Bokunewicz.l