Harrah’s and Borgata are the Two Best Atlantic City Casinos for Slot Players

Every month the casinos in Atlantic City are required to submit various revenue statistics to the state of New Jersey. One of those stats is the percentage of slot play that the casino wins. We dug into the slot win data provided by the casinos to determine which AC casinos, on average, have the best slots for gamblers.

The data we used for this study is simply the 100.0% – the slot win percentage for the casinos. For example, if a casino recorded a 9.0% slot win for the month then the slot win for the gamblers was 100.0% – 9.0%, or 91.0%.

We looked at the slot wins for the last twelve months of available data, or November 2017 through October 2018. While the spread between the highest payout rate and the lowest may not at first seem huge, when you consider the tens of millions of dollars that are bet in the slot machines each month the payout to gamblers really adds up.


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Here’s a look at the slot machine payout rates for each Atlantic City casino over the past year:

To help clarify which AC casino has the best slots for gamblers we then ranked each casino based on the slot payout for each of the last twelve months. The casino with a rank of one had the highest slot payout to customers during the month. As you will see below, the outcome is amazing. Either Harrah’s and Borgata had the best (lowest) payout rate rank EVERY month over the last year. Harrah’s had the best payout for 7 months and Borgata for 6 months (Harrah’s and Borgata were tied in June 2018).

Note that Hard Rock and Ocean Resort only have rankings since they opened their doors in June.

Taking things one step further, we then averaged the ranks over the last twelve months for each AC casino. Harrah’s and Borgata obviously had the best (lowest) average twelve month ranks.

Besides Harrah’s and Borgata having the best payout rate ranks in Atlantic City, a few other interesting things jump out after looking at this data. The two other Caesars Entertainment casinos in town, besides Harrah’s, came in third and fourth. Caesars and Bally’s, while never claiming the number one or two spot on slot payout rate ranks, were significantly better than most other casinos in town.

Another interesting observation is that the two newcomers in town were dead last in terms of slot payouts to gamblers. Hard Rock’s average slot payout rank since it opened in May was 7.2, placing it just ahead of Ocean Resort which had the worst slot payout rank in Atlantic City.

So, does this mean that if you play slots at Borgata or Harrah’s that you will win? Of course not! The payout varies from machine to machine, and even from denomination to denomination. Unfortunately, we do not have more granular data to analyze, but this study does point to the casinos that are offering the best overall slot payouts in town.

Eldorado Resorts’ (ERI) Casino Revenue Increases; Hotel Revenue Decreases

The Short Take:

  • Casino revenue made up 74.5% of total revenue for ERI during the third quarter of 2018, a 4.4% YoY increase
  • The Hotel segment brought in 9.2% of total revenue for the company and saw the worst YoY decrease of any of the company’s segments: down 2.6%
  • Food & Beverage revenue also saw a YoY decline, dropping 2.3% versus the same quarter last year

When Eldorado Resorts (ERI) reported its third quarter financials last week, one thing we were able to look at was how each of the company’s revenue segments performed.  ERI’s three main revenue segments are Casino, Food & Beverage and Hotel in addition to two other small contributors to revenue: Pari Mutuel Commissions and Other.

By far, the largest of Eldorado’s revenue segments is Casino.  In fact, casino revenue made up 74.5% of the company’s total revenue in the third quarter.  Here is a chart that shows the dominance of ERI’s casino revenue versus its other revenue segments:

 

In the third quarter, Eldorado brought in over $362.8 million from its casino operations.  Here is another chart that shows how casino revenue is the main revenue driver for ERI:

 

Third quarter 2018 casino revenue saw decent growth compared to the third quarter of 2017.  On a year-over-year basis, Eldorado’s casino revenue climbed 4.4%.  Here is a look at how the YoY growth of casino revenue stacks up against the company’s other revenue segments:

 

As you can see, the company’s two other main revenue segments, Hotel and Food & Beverage, did not fare as well on an annual growth rate basis.

Hotel revenue was the worst performing segment in the third quarter.  The $44.8 million in Hotel revenue represents a 2.6% decrease from the same quarter last year.  While the Hotel segment is not nearly as large of a factor for the company as the Casino segment, hotel revenue did account for 9.2% of total revenue in the third quarter.

Read More: Eldorado Resorts (ERI) Revenue by Region

The Food & Beverage segment performed a bit better than Hotels, but not by much.  Food & Beverage revenue fell 2.3% YoY.  This segment’s $58.2 million in revenue actually represents a larger portion of total revenue than the Hotel segment.  In the third quarter, Food and Beverage made up 11.9% of Eldorado’s total revenue.

Besides these three main revenue segments, ERI breaks out two additional segments, but they are very small in comparison.  Pari-Mutuel Commissions brought in $5.3 million during the quarter, a 3.5% YoY increase.  The “Other” category contributed $16.2 million to total revenue.

In the third quarter, and historically, Casino revenue dominated total revenue for Eldorado.  It will be interesting to see if this changes in upcoming quarters as the company begins to absorb its recent acquisitions of several Tropicana locations among other properties.  Having additional resorts in destination locations such Las Vegas and Atlantic City may begin to push up Hotel revenue.  We’ll keep an eye on all of the events as they unfold!

Eldorado Resorts (ERI) Regional Revenues Fall in Q3 2018

The Short Take:

  • YoY total revenue growth for Eldorado Resorts in the third quarter of 2018 came in at -2.2% with revenue hitting $503.9 million
  • The only regional revenue segment to see a YoY increase was the East region which eked out a +0.7% growth rate with its $127.7 million of revenue
  • Each of the other regions saw YoY revenue decreases with the largest being the Central region which fell 4.7% versus the same quarter last year

Eldorado Resorts (ERI) reported third quarter net revenue of $503.9 million.  This is a 2.2% year-over-year decrease.  So what geographic regions dragged down the results? It turns out that all but one region saw YoY decreases in revenue.

The largest regional segment by revenue, the West, saw a 3.9% YoY decrease in revenue.  The properties in the West brought in a bit over $129.1 million in revenue in the third quarter versus $134 million in the same quarter a year ago.  The West region contributed 25.6% of company-wide total revenue.

The East region was the only region to see a year-over-year revenue increase, but only slightly.  The 0.7% YoY increase brought the East’s revenue up to $127.7 million.  The East region made up 25.3% of ERI total revenue.

 

The South region contributes 21.1% of the company’s revenue.  In the third quarter the revenue in the South region was just shy of $106.6 million.  This represents a 1.3% YoY decrease.

The Midwest region’s third quarter revenue came in at a bit under $100 million, or a YoY decrease of 3.7%. The Midwest contributed 19.8% of Eldorado’s total revenue.

Read more: Boyd Gaming’s Midwest and South region had 6.5% YoY revenue growth

The Central region, which includes the newly acquired Grand Victoria casino in Illinois, equaled 8.1% of total company revenue.  Its 4.7% year-over-year decrease pegged the Midwest’s revenue at $40.6 million.

While the third quarter provided some disappointing revenue data for ERI, the fourth quarter will be interesting to watch.  That quarterly report will for the first time include results from several newly acquired properties including Belle of Baton Rouge as well as several Tropicana properties.

Atlantic City Total Casino Winnings Flat But Most Casinos Continue to Benefit From Taj Closing

The June 2017 casino revenue reports show that total casino winnings in Atlantic City were virtually flat in June 2017 versus a year ago. In June, the seven operating casinos pulled in winnings of $197,488,784. This is a -0.003% decrease from June 2016 when AC casinos pulled in $197,493,766.

While the flat casino winnings may be disappointing, most casinos saw significant year-over-year increases as a result of the closing of the Taj Mahal. The June 2016 winnings include winnings at the Taj, and most casinos benefited by that casinos closing.



The Tropicana produced the largest total winnings growth rate at 20.4%, followed by the Golden Nugget with a 14.7% year-over-year growth rate. The only casino to post a negative growth rate in June was Caesars. Caesars total winning dropped 1.9% from a year ago.

The table below outlines the year-over-year growth rates of total winnings of the seven current AC casinos.

 

As you can see, it has been a pretty good year so far for the remaining Atlantic City casinos.  All of the casinos have been benefiting from the closing of the Taj and other casinos.  The notable winner is the Trop which has seen double digit growth rates in its casino winnings.  While the individual casinos are posting gains pretty consistently every month, the casino winnings for the entire AC casino market has been a mixed bag.  As you can see in the table above, since January, the total AC winnings growth rate has been positive 3 months (January, March and May), negative 2 months (February and April) and flat one month (June).

While the Tropicana can boast that it had the largest winnings growth rate, the Borgata still remains the most profitable Atlantic City casino based on total casino winnings.  In June 2017 the Borgata won $59,835,792 in its casino.  The next closest casino was Harrah’s which won $31,647,463.  Here is the full list of casino total winnings for June 2017:



Borgata: $59,835,792

Harrah’s: $31,647,463

Tropicana: $28,459,162

Caesars: $24,688,410

Bally’s: $18,156,634

Golden Nugget: $18,017,766

Resorts: $16,683,557

ALL CASINOS: $197,488,784

With the peak summer season upon use, it will be interesting to see if Atlantic City casinos can ramp up their casino winnings and build momentum before new pressures arise from the pending opening of the Hard Rock and possible reopening of the Revel.

Atlantic City Slot Wins Flat in June But Taj Closing Boosts All Casinos

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released the June 2017 casino revenue reports and the results regarding slot machine wins is positive for all Atlantic City casinos.

Year Over Year Slot Win Growth

While the total slot wins in June were amazingly close to flat versus June 2016 for all Atlantic City casinos (142,968,402 for June 2017 vs 142,948,427 for June 2016), all casinos posted positive year over year slot win growth rates.  How can this be?  The simple answer is that in June 2016 Trump Taj Mahal was still in business.  Effectively, the remaining seven AC casinos split the Taj’s approximately $12 million monthly slot win.

The clear winner of the Taj shutdown is the Tropicana, based on slot wins.  The Trop’s year over year slot win increased a remarkable 21.2%.  The next biggest slot win growth rates belong to the Golden Nugget at 14.7% and Resorts at 10.4%.  While all casinos posted positive year over year slot win growth rates, Borgata was in last place at 4.8%.  A case can be made that Borgata, arguably the highest-end casino in Atlantic City, benefited from the closing of the Taj the least.



The chart and table below show the year over year slot win growth rates for each of the last six months for all of the AC casinos still open, plus the total slot win growth rate for all casinos.

Year Over Year Slot Win Growth Rates for Atlantic City Casinos

As you can see, the total Atlantic City slot win growth rates have been a mixed bag since the beginning of 2017.  While the growth rates for slot wins increased during the first three months, the growth rate turned negative in April and May and was essentially flat in June.

Absolute Slot Wins

While the Tropicana had the largest year over year percentage growth rate for slot wins, Borgata continues to have the largest absolute dollar for slot wins.  In June 2017 Borgata had slot wins of over $41.0 million.  Its next closest AC rival was the Trop at $23.9million, followed closely by Harrah’s at nearly $22.0 million.  The table below shows the total slot win for each of the last twelve months for the AC casinos currently in business.

 



What will the reopening of the Taj as a Hard Rock property and the (hopeful) reopening of the Revel/Ten do to the slot business of the existing casinos?  Only time will tell.  Stay tuned!