During the Covid-19 pandemic, Atlantic City casinos saw substantial shifts in business. As 2022 approaches, these changes continue to pose challenges to the city’s nine casinos.
In November, seven casinos reported a decrease in the amount of in-person money won from players compared to the previous year. A surge in internet gambling and sports betting is to blame for a big part of this.
Following a 107-day closure last year, several casinos have turned to online gaming. Gamblers continued to use their cellphones, laptops, and tablets to play in 2021.
Despite the number of synergies across omni-channel offers, the correct balance of marketing and technology is required to avoid online betting cannibalism.
“The pandemic continues to have a negative impact on our business, with land-based casino revenue down 5.5 percent for the year through November, and while online gaming revenue continues to grow significantly, with third-party operators capturing much of that market-share, it has provided another taxable revenue source to the city and state,” said Joe Lupo, President of the Casino Association of New Jersey and President of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantis.
According to Tony Marino, a former Atlantic City Expressway executive who now writes a weekly about the city’s tourism and casino developments, the internet’s and sports betting’s overall success has some negatives.
“However, the irony is that online gambling jeopardises in-person activities by reducing overall visitor volume to the resort, which has a negative impact on brick-and-mortar gaming, city and casino eateries, retail shops, and entertainment venues,” Marino added.
“The industry’s task in 2022 is to maintain national leadership in digital gaming while presenting Atlantic City as a resort with many world-class attractions worth visiting in person.”
On the plus side, the decline in land-based gaming revenue aided in the approval of an adjustment to a casino payment in lieu of tax agreement by state lawmakers.
Four of the city’s casinos would have closed if the agreement had not been reached, according to outgoing state Senate President Steve Sweeney. The improvements to the plan, according to the Casino Association of New Jersey, “would protect thousands of employment and bring clarity and stability to the market,” while also helping to upgrade Atlantic City’s infrastructure and increase safety.