ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (AP) — Atlantic City casinos and their online partners saw their collective profits drop nearly 1% in the second quarter of this year, and five of the nine casinos did not exceed their levels of pre-pandemic earnings, according to figures released Monday by New Jersey gaming regulators.
The state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement reported that online casinos and affiliates posted gross operating profit of $183.6 million in April, May and June of this year. That was down from $185.1 million a year earlier.
And even though the casinos collectively topped the $159.3 million profit they posted in the second quarter of 2019, four of the casinos posted lower individual profits than in that quarter, and one, Bally’s, recorded an operating loss of $3.7 million.
“Although EBITDA figures were relatively stable in the second quarter, during this period hotel-casinos made large and significant investments in their facilities to create new and exciting experiences for their customers” , said James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Board. “These capital investments are critical to ensuring Atlantic City’s long-term appeal as a resort destination.”
Gross operating profit reflects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and other expenses, and is a widely accepted measure of profitability in the Atlantic City gaming industry.
Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at the University of Stockton, which studies the Atlantic City gambling market, said higher operating profits compared to 2019 show “that casino operators continued to leverage lessons learned during the pandemic to balance spending with consumer demand.”
“Amid market uncertainties, from the continued influence of public health concerns to inflation and rising fuel prices, the industry as a whole has learned to adapt and operate profitably. “, she said.
Borgata posted the biggest quarterly operating profit at $42.2 million, up 4.6% from a year ago. Hard Rock earned $38 million, up nearly 46% from a year ago. Tropicana earned $30.3 million, up 8.2% from a year ago, and Harrah’s earned $21.3 million, down 14% from a year earlier.
Ocean Casino earned $15.5 million, down 8.1% from a year ago; Caesars earned $14.1 million, down 23.6%, Golden Nugget earned $9.1 million, down 14.7% from a year ago; and resorts earned $6.2 million, down 15.1% from a year earlier.
Among online-only entities, Caesars Interactive Entertainment-NJ earned just under $6 million, up 35.7% from the prior year; Golden Nugget Online Gaming earned $2.5 million, up from $7.8 million a year ago; and Resorts Digital earned nearly $1.8 million, down 50% from the prior year.
Ocean Casino had the highest average nightly rate for a hotel room in the second quarter at $257.43, while resorts had the lowest at $125.26.
Hard Rock had the highest hotel occupancy at over 95%, while Golden Nugget had the lowest at under 58%.