August gaming numbers show encouraging brick-and-mortar trend

Matthew Fazelpoor//September 19, 2022//

August gaming numbers show encouraging brick-and-mortar trend

Matthew Fazelpoor//September 19, 2022//

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Last month, gross gaming revenue for New Jersey’s nine casinos was $274 million, compared with $262.4 million for the same month last year, which marked one of the strongest Augusts in recent history.

“August, traditionally one of the strongest months for Atlantic City’s casino industry, especially regarding brick-and-mortar gaming revenues, put in a solid showing for 2022,” said Jane Bokunewicz, who analyzed the August 2022 numbers from the Division of Gaming Enforcement for Stockton University’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism. “Brick and mortar GGR (gross gaming revenues) for the month outperformed 2021 (4.4% increase) and though it fell short of pre-pandemic 2019 it beat out every other August since 2015.”

When combined with July 2022, Bokunewicz noted that this August’s strong brick-and-mortar results offset the summer’s slow start for a solid performance, which is encouraging as Atlantic City’s casino industry continues its post-COVID recovery.

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Jane Bokunewicz – faculty director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University – made the Top 10 of the NJBIZ Education Power 50 for 2022? Click here to read more and to see the full list.

Total gaming revenue reported by casinos, racetracks and their partners was $470.7 million, a 10.1% increase from $427.7 million reported in August 2021.

It was also another strong month for internet gambling with an August win total of $131.4 million reported, reflecting a growth of 16.1% versus the prior period.

“The relatively slow growth of brick-and-mortar gaming revenues compared to the increasing contribution of internet gaming to total revenue could potentially suggest a change in consumer behavior that doesn’t cannibalize in-person gaming but includes significant gaming activity,” Bokunewicz explained.

In general, she says that the gaming industry is facing a number of direct and indirect impacts, including regional gaming expansion, economic conditions and lingering effects from the pandemic.

“It is difficult to say with certainty that any observed trends in recent data will last due to the variability of the local gaming industry’s performance,” said Bokunewicz.

She also stressed that a continued diversification of offerings will serve Atlantic City well to compete in this challenging climate. Earlier this summer, NJBIZ chronicled the city’s big bet on development and non-gaming options.

“Brick-and-mortar operations will still represent the greater share of overall activity, and also generate complementary revenues from nongaming operations,” said Bokunewicz. “A decreased reliance on exclusively in-person gaming activity has the potential to keep the New Jersey casino industry competitive with its neighbors and make it more resilient to market disruptions that might potentially occur in the future.”