ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - The Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ) announced that Atlantic City saw a year of modest growth amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to the December 2021 Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) gaming revenue results report.
"Throughout 2021, the Atlantic City casino industry and its many great employees worked diligently to rebuild and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our industry in the New Year, our outlook remains cautiously optimistic for the upcoming year, as we saw increases from 2020 to 2021, and we anticipate the same for 2022," said Joe Lupo, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey.
Atlantic City continued to experience the challenging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the last quarter of 2021 as the country experienced a new surge, which has continued in 2022. Overall, the land-based casino industry saw a 5 percent decline in revenue in 2021 compared to 2019, which underscores the fact that land-based casinos have not recovered to pre-COVID levels. Despite the pandemic, the Atlantic City casino industry generated nearly $422 million in total state tax revenue from gaming operations in 2021, reinforcing the vital role the industry plays across the state, providing a growing labor market that supports and sustains the local region.
Online revenue continued to show positive increases through 2021. While primarily third-party affiliated companies generated those wagers as opposed to operators of Atlantic City's land-based casinos, online gaming revenue continues to produce very meaningful tax funding for the City of Atlantic City, Atlantic County, and the State of New Jersey.
The Atlantic City casino industry partnered with regional health care provider AtlantiCare and UNITE HERE Local 54 to safely welcome back more employees and guests as restrictions eased and vaccinations became more widely available to the public. CANJ, AtlantiCare and UNITE HERE Local 54 initiated a partnership that enabled casino employees to access vaccinations as early as March 2021. These efforts continued for both employees and Atlantic City residents throughout the summer to include pop-up vaccination clinics at casinos across the city.
"We are grateful for our partnership with the dedicated front-line medical professionals of AtlantiCare, UNITE HERE Local 54, along with the commitment and resilience of our team members. We look forward to continuing to work together in the year ahead, providing a stronger voice powered by transparency as we continue to revitalize our historic seaside destination," added Lupo.
The casino industry continues to diversify Atlantic City's offerings, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in redevelopment projects and amenities. These new investments will create world-class attractions, generate additional employment opportunities and attract more visitors to the beachfront resort in the upcoming year. As the pandemic continues to challenge air travel, one-third of the U.S. population can travel to Atlantic City on a tank of gas, which makes the city an even more attractive tourist destination.