While casinos in Atlantic City are busy enjoying a fruitful 2019, a study suggests that it won’t be for long. The Gross Gaming Revenue was boosted by sports betting and internet gaming.
Professors from Rutgers University conducted a study on the state of New Jersey and concluded that Atlantic City has become a saturated gambling hub. The same study suggests that the city will soon be unable to sustain the nine gaming properties it currently has.
The Boardwalk October GGR indicated an upturn following a good performance from seven of the nine casinos which recorded an increase in their year-over-year report.
Although this is the case, the Rutger study claims that these good reports are as a result of the opening of Ocean Resorts and Hard Rock. The two resorts which have recently had their anniversaries are said to be benefiting from established rivals.
In that sense, the Boardwalk’s GGR increase is therefore not indicative that new revenue is coming into the city. This clearly shows the saturation that is starting to plague East Coast’s gambling hub.
The study which was conducted by the university’s School of Planning and Public Policy had been commissioned by the Atlantic City Working Group under Governor Phil Murphey. It was a timely study since policymakers were in the process of requesting the limiting of Boardwalk gaming licenses. This idea has so far gained bipartisan support but with the study things are bound to change.
Similarly, Garden State politicians have been reluctant to allowing Showboat to have its own casino. Showboat is a non-gaming hotel but has been open to the idea of getting into the business to which politicians are refuting.
The politicians are aware of the market saturation which is plaguing in the city and although the city has registered high GGR, the operator’s profitability has started to decline.
When profitability declines, cash flow also declines. Operators experiencing low cash flow are unable to reinvest their profits back to the company which in the long run may lead to its closure.
Atlantic City, New Jersey, is not the only city facing issues due to the competitive gambling markets since New York is also in the mix.
New York owns gaming properties in Pennsylvania which have grown to become an upcoming gambling center right in the middle of Atlantic’s gambling market.
Using a statistical analysis, the Rutgers study modeled what the potential impact of the GGR would be on Atlantic City if a new slot machine venue was to be opened. As stated by Casino.org, whether the venue was to be opened in New York, Delaware, Atlantic City or Philadelphia, declines were likely to be observed. The reason is increased competition.
Even with the study findings glaring at operators, it is highly unlikely that they would close down any of their casinos. For instance, in Philadelphia, a hotel and casino with up to 2000 gaming machines are expected to be opened in 2020.
Bally’s was also forecasted to be closed down after the Eldorado takeover announcement. However, the recent opening of an $11 million sportsbook at Bally’s clearly shows that Eldorado is not ready to part with it.