Atlantic City casinos continue post-pandemic momentum in February

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Atlantic City casinos continue post-pandemic momentum in February
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“Despite falling $4 million short of pre-pandemic February 2020, February 2023 outperformed all other Februarys going back to 2013,” said Jane Bokunewicz, faculty director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism (LIGHT), Stockton University School of Business, in her analysis of the most-recent numbers released by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement March 16.

In February 2023, total gaming revenue was $412.2 million, a 10.4% increase from February 2022. Casino win – the brick-and-mortar metric – for the nine casino hotel properties was $215 million, a slight 1.2% increase to February 2022.

“Casino win in the city grew modestly, continuing the recent positive trend,” said New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chairman James Plousis. “Casino win was the second-best February result in 11 years, demonstrating that Atlantic City’s in-person experiences continue to appeal.”

“Year-to-date, a strong January kept the Atlantic City casino industry well-ahead of pre-pandemic brick-and-mortar totals at $426 million compared to year-to-date February 2020 at $410 million,” said Bokunewicz.

February marked another good showing for internet gaming with a win reported by casinos and partners of $142.6 million, a 9.7% increase versus last February. That number, though, was 6.7% decline from January.

“When considering total gross gaming revenue for the month and year-to-date, internet gaming pushed February 2023 to new heights setting new near-term records for single month February and year-to-date February revenues,” said Bokunewicz. “Internet gaming remains a significant portion of the Atlantic City gaming industry revenue mix accounting for nearly 40% of total gross revenue share for the year-to-date.”

Bokunewicz said the ability to engage players year-round and via multiple channels has likely contributed to industry revenue growth overall.

“And may help Atlantic City’s casino operators stay competitive in an increasingly crowded regional and local market,” she explained.

‘Seasonal fluctuations’

Meanwhile, sports betting had another mixed bag showing – despite the Super Bowl – as New Jersey remains one of the nation’s top, most-established, and well-respected legal sports betting markets. But, the state is seeing some plateauing and decline in figures as it competes in an increasingly crowded regional market, which Bokunewicz alluded to, especially from New York.

The total sports betting handle in February was $847 million, down 21.7% from January and 14% under last February. The total sports betting revenue was $54.6 million, down 24.5% from January but up 76.9% from February 2022.

In his analysis for, Dru James noted that New Jersey saw declines across the board last month from January.

“On all accounts it looks like bad news, especially following the Super Bowl, which is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, but fluctuations like this in February are not atypical,” said James.

He did note the jump in sports betting and total gaming revenue from last February by 77% and 10%, respectively.

“This is glimmer of hope that the market will continue to grow beyond its seasonal fluctuations,” said James. “Remember, New Jersey is one of the oldest active markets in the nation, and often serves as a litmus test for industry trends. That is to say: if the market looks like it will be fine here, it’s safe to say it will be fine everywhere else.”

In his analysis for, Dru James noted that New Jersey saw declines across the board last month from January.

And this month, buoyed by March Madness which got into full swing Thursday, is one of the biggest and most important periods for the sports betting industry.

“March will be a month both for recovery from the February losses and bracing for the spring and summer: the time of discontent where many sports are in their off seasons and betting opportunities are slim,” James added. “The March Madness tournaments will bring in the wagers, but the key will be bringing in enough money to sustain the New Jersey market through the warmer months.”

“I’ve seen projections that a record number of people will participate in regulated betting on this month’s March Madness college basketball tournament – the casinos in Atlantic City should be commended for reminding bettors to have a plan and a budget when wagering on this exciting annual contest,” said Plousis.

All of this comes as non-gaming redevelopment continues around Atlantic City with a number of exciting projects on tap, which NJBIZ has chronicled, and, of course, warmer weather (hopefully) as spring comes into season.

“Multi-channel player engagement coupled with recent investment in the on-site resort experience will continue to make Atlantic City with a distinctive destination for gambling and entertainment, both virtual and in-person,” said Bokunewicz.m