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Atlantic City survives pandemic and claws back its tourism industry thanks to ingenius online business idea

Atlantic City
(© Karen Roach –

New Jersey is getting back on its feet in both land-based and online gambling, with many of the casinos in the listing here becoming a part of this renewed recovery and growth period in the industry.

After recording zero revenue from land-based gaming in April, May, and June 2021, the industry is back on its feet and revenues are soaring. While in the background, there was what is now a billion dollar online iGaming industry keeping the city’s spotlight casinos afloat.

The city is known for its beachfront, tourist attractions, nightlife entertainment, and most of all, the sprawling high class structures, yes you guessed it, casinos. The likes of Bally’s, Borgata, Caesars, Golden Nuggets, Hard Rock, Hurrah’s, Ocean Casino, Resorts, and Tropicana are all here. However, these sectors suffered a huge blow during the pandemic, with many accepting bail out funds from the government.

It is these gambling businesses that bring in the city’s revenue, create employment, and keep the tourist industry alive, even for those not interested in visiting the casinos. But how did these casinos survive the pandemic and avoid closing down?

Online iGaming and sports websites saved the city

Many of the casinos in Atlantic City have struck deals with online casino and sports betting brands to bring these gambling services online. The result has been a bustling market that has continued to rise in popularity. As per New Jersey state laws, iGaming services can exist in the state as long as the operation operates under an existing land-based casino licence. And the land-based casinos were happy to oblige and partnered with several well-known brands to bring iGaming services online.

Atlantic City casinos and their online partnerships are listed below:

  • Borgata Casino: Party & BetMGM
  • Caesars: Harrah’s & 888
  • Golden Nugget: Betfair, BetAmerica & SugarHouse
  • Hard Rock: Unibet & Bet365
  • Ocean Casino: Parx Casino
  • Resorts: AC, DraftKings & PokerStars
  • Tropicana: Virgin

The online casino licensing has been in place since November 2013, just a little over 2 years after the feds shut down the entire iGaming market on April 15, 2011. And it worked so much so that Delaware followed suit before other states decided it was time to copy New Jersey’s successful state level iGaming licensing framework. Now Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Connecticut have all legalised iGaming using the same laws as New Jersey, while in Nevada, there is no online casino licensing framework – in this state, only online poker and sports betting are legal.

BetMGM under the Borgata Casino shows the most impressive revenues

The casino provider boasts some of the biggest progressive jackpots in the US. BetMGM, which operates under the licence of Borgata AC, also possesses big names like Party online casino and Borgata online casino. Currently, they hold the top spot in NJ as an online casino provider with a reported GGR market share of 30% as of October 21. NJ’s online revenue hit an all-time high last year after reporting a monthly take of $127 million.

BetMGM, which also operates in Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, is also currently the top online casino operator in the United States with an estimated National GGR of 32% market share amongst all of its live markets.

BetMGM’s Vice president of gaming, Mathew Sunderland congratulated their prize winner as well as commenting that he was delighted for Dori and that BetMGM will continue to offer huge jackpots through their exclusive progressive jackpot network and look forward to setting more records across the whole of the United States.

New Jersey’s top operators

Borgata, Party and BetMGM combined reported a total revenue of over $341.3 million for 2021, a growth of 116.6% from the previous year. Borgata, which has been the market leader in Atlantic City for the vast majority of its 18 years in the state, and the rest of MGM Resorts, along with their other online partners have really started to show their muscles in recent times with the record figures they seem to be reporting continuously. No.2 in the rankings goes to Golden Nugget – the company that operates the Golden Nugget online casino with a reported revenue of $310.8 million.

In conclusion

Thanks to New Jersey’s relaxed laws surrounding online gambling and sports betting, the city’s casinos were able to exhaust another form of revenue while people were locked down, or too wary of visiting land-based casinos. The revenue from the online side of business was further boosted by those in the Garden State that enjoy land-based casino entertainment but couldn’t visit a casino. Thanks to live dealer suites from the likes of Evolution and Ezugi brands, people could zoom in to a live table via webcam and play their favorite table games. By the end of 2021, the online casino industry had taken a massive $1 billion in revenue.

Story by James Donaghue

augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press

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