By Skip Charles

New Jersey’s casinos and race tracks won nearly $485 million from gamblers in September, up nearly 7% from a year earlier.

And the nine casinos collectively edged past the amount they won from in-person gamblers in September 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit. They won nearly $252 million, up 1.3% compared with three years ago.

But much of that came from the performance of just two casinos: Hard Rock and Ocean; the other seven are still trailing the in-person revenue levels they had before the pandemic hit.

The amount won from in-person gamblers is a key metric for Atlantic City casinos, and is among the industry’s biggest concerns as the seaside gambling resort works to recover from pandemic-related declines. Six of the nine casinos won more from in-person gamblers last month than they did in September 2019.

“September’s mild weather helped contribute to a strong start to the fall season for Atlantic City’s casino operators,” said Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which studies the Atlantic City gambling market. “At this rate, Atlantic City’s casino operators are likely to meet and potentially exceed pre-pandemic end-of-year totals for both brick-and-mortar and total gaming revenue.”

The in-person revenue numbers are less encouraging when compared to September 2019, before the coronavirus outbreak.

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