Atlantic City casinos have seen significant changes in their operations during the Covid-19 pandemic. These changes continue to present challenges for the city’s nine casinos as we approach 2022.
Seven casinos posted a decrease in the amount of in-person money players won in November, compared to 2019. This was largely due to an increase in online gambling and sports betting.
The 107-day shutdown last year forced many casinos to turn to internet gambling. The trend continued in 2021, with gamers using their cellphones, laptops and tablets to gamble.
While there is an abundance of synergies between omnichannel offerings, there needs to be a balance between marketing and technology to avoid cannibalizing land-based betting online.
“The pandemic continues to negatively impact our business, with land-based casino earnings down 5.5% for the year through November, and as online gaming revenue continues to grow. significant with third-party operators acquiring a large part of this market share. , this has provided another source of taxable income for the city and the state, ”said Joe Lupo, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, who is also president of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
There are also some drawbacks to the overall success of the internet and sports betting, said Tony Marino, a former Atlantic City Expressway executive who now writes a newsletter on tourism trends and the city’s casinos. .
“But the irony is that online gaming threatens in-person activity by suppressing the overall volume of visitors to the resort, which in turn negatively affects physical games, town restaurants and casinos,” retail establishments and entertainment venues, ”said Marino.
“The challenge in 2022 is for the industry to maintain the national leadership in the digital game while promoting Atlantic City as a resort with several world-class attractions worthy of in-person visits.”
On the bright side, declining land-based gaming revenues have helped state lawmakers approve an amendment to a casino payment in lieu of a tax deal.
Outgoing state Senate president Steve Sweeney said without the deal four of the city’s casinos would have closed. The Casino Association of New Jersey said in a statement that the changes to the plan “will protect thousands of jobs and bring certainty and stability to the market,” while helping to improve Atlantic City’s infrastructure and safety at the resort. .