New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement released an update on the casino earnings in the state. With the closure of land-based venues, the nine Atlantic City casinos earned close to $85.5 million in total, a 61.7% drop compared to March of the previous year.
The lockdown disrupted the state’s 21-month-long consecutive rise of annual gaming revenue gains. This marks the largest decline of gambling in Atlantic City, compared to the 28% drop in revenue when casinos closed for 9 days due to Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
The saving grace for the industry was online betting, which brought in $71.2 million, yet March’s total earnings still see a 42.7% year-on-year drop to $156.7 million.
Individual revenue fell in most of Atlantic City’s casinos. Borgata suffered a 67.5% drop with revenue of $19.3 million. Tropicana earned $10.25 million and declined by 62.5%. Hard Rock Atlantic City fell by 58.5% with $10.21 million in earnings. Harrah’s received $9.76 million in earnings and dropped 63.1%. And Caesars came in last with $9.47 million and a 58.5% drop.
“While there will be some revenue coming in from online sources,” said David Schwartz, a gambling historian with the University of Nevada Las Vegas, “the cessation of live casino gaming caused numbers to sharply plummet, and they will take some time to increase, even after the shutdowns end.”
New Jersey still hasn’t announced when the lockdown on land-based venues will be lifted since the infection is still spreading in the state. March casino revenue in New Jersey is still somewhat better than some other states. Indiana’s casinos dropped 55% compared to last year, Maryland by 58% and Michigan by 59%.