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NJ casino income down in March even with boost from online gambling adding players, revenue


New Jersey casinos brought in 15 percent more from online gambling in March over the previous month, but it wasn't nearly enough to offset the diminishing revenue from Atlantic City's long-struggling brick-and-mortar casinos.

The state Division of Gaming Enforcement reported Monday on casinos' gambling winnings in the latest edition of a monthly report where the news has been mostly discouraging for years.

Online gambling, which was launched in November as the latest hope to reverse Atlantic City's fortunes, hasn't brought in the revenue that was expected.

But it has grown each month. In March, the casinos won $11.9 million from online bettors, a 15 percent increase over February, when the casinos' take was $10.3 million. The state says 292,000 people are now registered to bet online in the state, an 18 percent increase over February.

Atlantic City's casinos, which are partnering with online gambling companies, have been using billboards, direct mailers, Web ads and other means in relentless promotion of the new option.

Including the online revenue, Atlantic City's 11 casinos won a total of $233 million in March 2014, down 2 percent from March 2013, when there were still 12 casinos operating. The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel closed in January of this year.

Winnings for the physical casinos dropped faster. The $221 million brought in was 7 percent less than the same period last year.

Most of the individual casinos were either big winners or big losers in March compared with the same month last year.

Revel Casino Hotel saw its winnings at its physical casino jump 50 percent to $14.7 million. The Golden Nugget Atlantic City, which has gone after former Atlantic Club players aggressively, and Resorts Casino Hotel each had increases of just over 20 percent. The Golden Nugget's winnings were $12.9 million; Resorts' were $11.2 million.

Tropicana Casino and Resort ($22.2 million) posted an increase of more than 10 percent.

Meanwhile, four casinos had winnings that were down by more than 10 percent from last year.

Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, the city's least prolific casino, brought in $4.7 million, a decrease of 31 percent; Bally's Atlantic City, at $17.9 million, was down 18 percent; Trump Taj Mahal won $19 million, down 19 percent; and Showboat Casino Hotel, at $14 million, was down 17 percent;

The casino with relatively stable winnings compared to last year was the city's biggest, The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, which made $51.5 million, a decrease of 1.2 percent. Harrah's Resort Atlantic City was down 5.5 percent to $29 million, and Caesar's Atlantic City won $24.3 million, an increase of less than 1 percent.

The biggest share of the Internet gambling revenue went to Borgata, with $4.4 million; Caesars Interactive New Jersey was next with $3.7 million.

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