Atlantic City Economy Worth $3.7 Billion Per Year

Much has been made about Atlantic City’s decline since reaching a gambling revenue peak of $5.2 billion in 2006. But according to recent figures, the East Coast gambling mecca may not be doing as poorly as everyone thinks.

As reported by the Press of Atlantic City, the town’s seven casinos have a combined $3.7 billion economy.

$2.4 billion of this was from gambling, while $1.3 billion of the amount represents amenities, hotel rooms, nightlife, restaurants, and shopping.

The $3.7 billion figure comes from 2015, while available figures for the first nine months of 2016 show a similar trajectory.

The casinos have made $2.8 billion through September, and they could easily eclipse $3.7 billion when the other three months are accounted for.

Over the past few years, New Jersey has been trying to diversify their gambling hub to better compete with increased out-of-state competition. Given that the sales of food, beverage, and non-gambling sources are up, the state has to be happy with the progress.

“I think any mayor in the state would raise their hand right now if you said, ‘Hey, who wants $2.5 billion going through their town?'” said Wasseem Boraie, an executive at Boraie Development.

Boraie Development believes in Atlantic City enough that they’re building an $81 million complex called The Beach at South Inlet. It’ll feature 250 apartments with hardwood floors, granite counter tops, and stainless steel appliances.

The hope is that projects like these can stabilize Atlantic City, which has seen five casinos close since 2014.

“A.C. will never be the casino resort we were in the ’80s and ’90s, but, like the Vegas Strip, we could turn our rooms, restaurant and convention departments into true profit centers while also helping the noncasino properties as well as other South Jersey resorts,” said Steve Norton, who runs a casino consulting company called Norton Management LLC.

There’s still work to be done, though. Atlantic City gets 67% of its revenue through gambling, while Las Vegas only makes 35% of its revenue from gambling.

But the progress is noticeably there, with Atlantic City increasing its non-gaming revenue from $252 million in 2012, to $998 million in 2015.

“I don’t know – and will not try to predict – the precise nature of which ventures will succeed and which won’t, but I do know this: Businesses ranging from small restaurants to the Borgata have shown that, with the right business plan and the right capital investment, you can still make money in Atlantic City,” said Michael Pollock, managing director of Spectrum Gaming Group.

With a $3.7 billion annual economy, Atlantic City is roughly one-fifth the size of Las Vegas, which generates $16.7 billion annually.