Atlantic City casinos have been hit with a double whammy of late, and many are questioning exactly where the silver lining or future hope may lie for. Casino revenues have slid dramatically year after year as rival casinos opened in Pennsylvania and New York, with no real response from either AC casinos or the state of New Jersey, other than to cross their fingers and hope that the economy and situation magically improves.
While Las Vegas is in a similar situation and battling declining gambling revenues it at least has other revenue streams to fall back on, including the ability to cross-sell many of its offering such as MMA fights, which draw a steady stream of fans to Vegas to both attend the events and place wagers in sportsbooks. With no sportsbooks to fall back on more dated casinos and hotels in general, it’s a much harder sell for AC casinos to cash in on MMA mania.
MMA isn’t a magic bullet for casinos but it’s a step in the right direction, as far as getting out of the old-school mentality that all a casino has to do is cram in a lot of slot machines and table games in order to be profitable. Casinos have to fight harder for the dwindling entertainment dollars that customers are willing to spend, especially as more and more players embrace online gaming sites where they can play real money blackjack and other casino games without ever leaving home.
While recent steps by the New Jersey legislature to allow smaller boutique casinos in more locations and implement an intrastate online casino site are steps in the right direction, it remains to be seen if it’s a case of too-little, too-late for gambling in Atlantic City. With newer, slicker options available on nearly every front, it’s becoming a harder and harder draw to convince customers to come to Atlantic City to spend their gambling dollars.