With the start of 2019, both gambling operators and analysts of Atlantic City have put into consideration both the perils and hopes for the local gambling industry.
Despite the hard times faced by the East Coast gambling resort over the past few years, Atlantic City has managed to regain some of its stability and found a balance after several years of casino venues closures and job losses.
The resort has become part of the flourishing sports betting market of New Jersey after the state took advantage of the US Supreme Court’s ruling and added the new gambling service to its offerings. Apart from that, two of the five casino facilities which have shut down since 2014 reopened, with a new college campus having brought a large number of students to the downtown area.
Still, Atlantic City continues to face some of its already familiar problems in 2019. Some industry executives and gambling industry analysts have shared fears that the resort could be making the same mistake which unlocked the casino crisis by allowing too many casinos to operate in a market which is unable to support them all.
According to experts, there would be certain challenges that would have to be faced by Atlantic City in 2019.
Challenging 2019 Awaits Local Gambling Sector
Since the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey in the state’s sports betting case in 2018, sports betting has become a flourishing part of the local gambling sector. The total worth of bets made between the moment when sports betting was added to the local gambling industry and the end of November, is $928 million. That amount has provided New Jersey’s casinos and racetracks with a revenue of $73.2 million and generated taxes of approximately $8 million to the state.
Coupled with the winnings generated from online gambling, sports betting is expected to provide another revenue stream for casinos in Atlantic City, especially at the time when the Super Bowl and the March Madness college basketball tournament are expected to kick off.
As mentioned above, two of the five closed casino venues in Atlantic City – the Hard Rock (which is the former Trump Taj Mahal) and the Ocean Resort (the former Revel casino) – reopened at the end of June 2018. This raised the number of casinos operating in the world-famous gambling resort from seven to nine, with the action immediately raising some questions whether the resort would be able to support so many casinos in the future.
The truth is that Atlantic City had been doing well with seven casinos, but analysts still remain unsure whether it could support nine. According to the first quarterly earnings statements after the reopening of the two venues mentioned above were not quite promising, as the gross operating profits for the third fiscal quarter suffered a 15.3% decline due to customers choosing to try out the new properties at the expense of the already existing ones.
On the other hand, 2019 could turn out to be a good one for the New Jersey gambling resort, as more people are expected to be brought to live in and near the casino zone. The new Atlantic City campus of the Stockton University is expected to see the ending of its first school year, with almost 1,400 students attending classes and approximately 500 living there.