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Atlantic City has seven standing brick and mortar casinos, though it once had far more than this. These casinos saw a 15% year over year increase in revenue from January 2016 to January 2017, a positive sign after years of decline. Let's look at the factors contributing to this uptick in revenue and why it is so important.
The Recent Decline of Atlantic City's Casinos
This revenue growth is a promising development given that five casinos in Atlantic City closed from 2014. One of the biggest to close was Donald Trump's Taj Mahal casino, shutting down in October, 2016. This left Atlantic City with only seven standing casinos out of more than a dozen a decade previously. The fact that revenue for the remaining casinos is up indicates that the casino industry is now stable, with brick and mortar venues matching local and regional demand.
The Trends of the Past Several Years
Shutting down casinos in Atlantic City has improved the economic health of those still standing. For example, their gross operating profits increased by 44% in 2015 as several casinos closed. With less competition for those still open, seven of the eight casinos open in 2016 had positive gross operating profits. Three of them saw gross operating profits increase by more than 120%. In the case of the Resorts and The Golden Nugget, the closing of their rivals resulted in them going from losses to profits in 2016.
The Impact of Online Gambling on Atlantic City
In 2016, online and brick and mortar gambling brought in more than two billion dollars to Atlantic City. Internet gambling revenue for New Jersey casinos grew 30% annually from 2015 to 2016, and it is the major source of income growth for these hotels. New Jersey is unusual in allowing online gambling at its licensed casinos. And all of the casinos with a permit for internet gambling saw increased online revenue - in short, online gambling is the main reason why these businesses are still open and seeing a profit. Online gambling is still less than 10% of the overall revenues for Atlantic City's remaining casinos. Yet that was enough to raise their overall revenues 1.5% in 2016.
Online gambling in New Jersey is allowed when it occurs through the casino's website. The state allows it because online gamers' usage is tracked by the Know Your Customer software to identify problem gamblers. You can play at other sites if you live outside of New Jersey. For example, playing with Guts is a nice online casino experience at Guts.com. Plus, many people prefer the only casino experience to gambling in person, especially due to its convenience.
Atlantic City's online gambling through its casinos earned around $200 million dollars. This revenue may fall if surrounding states start to legalize online gambling. Right now, only Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey allow online gambling - and New Jersey is earning the most by far.
The increased demand for online gambling has led to the shuttering of many brick and mortar casinos. Atlantic City's remaining casinos are seeing profits grow by catering to those seeking legal online gambling options, and then matching their facilities to local demand.
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