Atlantic City's casinos earnings rise, but some still lag - Albuquerque Journal

Atlantic City’s casinos earnings rise, but some still lag

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Atlantic City’s casinos collectively saw their profitability increase in the first quarter of this year compared not only with a year earlier, but also to the pre-pandemic period, according to figures released Monday.

But only four of the nine casinos indivdually reported higher gross operating profits than they did in the first quarter of 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show the casinos and their online arms collectively posted a gross operating profit of $155.6 million in the first three months of this year.

That’s up 63% from the first three months of 2021, and nearly 79% from the first quarter of 2019. (The pandemic forced Atlantic City’s casinos to close for 3 1/2 months starting in mid-March of 2020, so 2019 is a more useful point of comparison.)

Yet the news was not all good. Only four casinos — Borgata, Hard Rock, Ocean and Tropicana — were more profitable in the first quarter this year than they were at the start of 2019.

Gross operating profit represents earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and other expenses and is a widely accepted measure of profitability in the Atlantic City gambling industry.

Eight of the nine casinos were profitable in the first quarter of this year, with only Bally’s showing an operating loss, of $6.8 million.

The Borgata had a gross operating profit of $45.8 million; Hard Rock earned $26.8 million; Tropicana earned $19.7 million; Ocean earned $18.5 million; Harrah’s earned $15.9 million; Caesars earned $10.6 million; Golden Nugget earned $5.6 million; and Resorts earned $536,000.

Hard Rock had the biggest percentage increase in operating profit compared with last year, up almost 213%. Ocean was up over 133%.

Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which studies the Atlantic City gambling market, said the resort showed “meaningful growth” during what is traditionally the slowest period for them in the first quarter of the year.

She also noted that the casinos’ collective gross operating profit was the highest first-quarter performance in the past five years.

“As operators continued to face labor shortages in the first quarter, they have had to find creative ways to satisfy consumer demand with fewer employees,” she said. “The high gross operating profits in the first quarter indicate that they have found an efficient balance between staffing levels and volume of business.”

Entering the second and third quarters of the year, the period in which the casinos make most of their money, Bokunewicz said, higher casino hotel occupancies should push nongambling revenue higher but also increase the demand for casino workers.

“How well operators can keep up with this demand, given the labor supply, rising wages and product costs, will determine if recent gross operating profit performance will persist,” she said.

Bokunewicz said the comparison with the first quarter of 2019 is not ideal, either. The first quarter of 2019 began with both Hard Rock and Ocean open for only six months, with both casinos posting operating losses from ramping up their businesses and trying to gain market share. And some casinos have split their internet operations from their in-person operations since then.

Casino hotel occupancy in the first quarter of this year was 63%, almost 11% higher than the same period a year ago. Ocean had the highest average occupancy at 81.5% while Golden Nugget was the lowest at 41.6%

Ocean had the highest average room rate at $209 while Resorts had the lowest at $106.

Among internet-only entities, Caesars Interactive Entertainment NJ earned $7.8 million in the first quarter; Golden Nugget Online Gaming earned $6.7 million; and Resorts Digital made $4.1 million.

___

Follow Wayne Parry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WayneParryAC

Home » Business » Most Recent Biz News » Atlantic City’s casinos earnings rise, but some still lag


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
New Mexico paid sick leave law set to take ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Healthy Workplaces Act applies to ... The Healthy Workplaces Act applies to all private businesses
2
How does New Mexico's paid sick leave law work?
ABQnews Seeker
Q&A about the new law Q&A about the new law
3
NM department heads, others didn't disclose financial info
ABQnews Seeker
Elected officials, the leaders of state ... Elected officials, the leaders of state agencies and certain other appointees are required to file annual disclosures
4
APD: 2 shot to death in west Albuquerque
ABQnews Seeker
Officials says victims 'appear to be ... Officials says victims 'appear to be related'
5
APD investigating homicide in Nob Hill area
ABQnews Seeker
Police say the person was found ... Police say the person was found outside
6
New Mexico's Top Workplaces 2022: Full list
ABQnews Seeker
The Journal's 10th annual Top ... The Journal's 10th annual Top Workplaces program celebrates employers that are getting it right.
7
Albuquerque local to compete on 'American Ninja Warrior'
ABQnews Seeker
Katie Bone, 16, also has chance ... Katie Bone, 16, also has chance to raise awareness for Type 1 diabetes on show
8
No license plate may mean a black-market vehicle sale
ABQnews Seeker
June 6 column reported 1,772 tickets ... June 6 column reported 1,772 tickets so far this year for no registration
9
Miss O'Keeffe's home sweet home
Arts
Beautiful Chama River Valley drew artist ... Beautiful Chama River Valley drew artist to Abiquiú
10
Biden urges Western unity on Ukraine
From the newspaper
British PM Johnson warns against allowing ... British PM Johnson warns against allowing war 'fatigue' to take hold