Atlantic City Casino Revenue Soars Past Pre-Pandemic Figures
On Monday, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) presented gross operating profit data for its casino industry. According to those figures, there was a total of $155.6 million in profits on net sales of $719.8 million.
For all nine Atlantic City casinos, profit margins were higher in the first quarter of this year than they had been both a year earlier and before the pandemic. However, just four of the nine casinos recorded better gross operating earnings than they did before the coronavirus epidemic took. That was way back in the first quarter of 2019.
“We see the continuation of an overall pattern of recovery for Atlantic City’s casino operators. While COVID remains a concern, the public seems to be returning to pre-pandemic social behavior by attending large gatherings, traveling more, and socializing with friends.”Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University.
Borgata made $45.8 million in gross operating profit, Hard Rock $26.8 million, Tropicana $19.7 million, Ocean $18.5 million, Harrah $15.7 million, Caesars $10.6 million, Golden Nugget $5.6 million, and Resorts $536,000. Hard Rock’s Q1 operating profit grew by a whopping 213% over the previous year, making it the most profitable operator. Ocean followed close behind with a 133% rise in operating profit.
Tough Times Ahead
As of now, Atlantic City casinos’ first-quarter profits are showing that the facilities are financially stable. However, they will be put to the test financially in the near future. Most notably, the upcoming summer will be a challenging time for many casinos because of the tight labor market, which is pushing up labor costs, and the growing prices of goods and services in the marketplace.
According to experts, casino performance in Q1 demonstrates their ability to streamline processes while hiring fewer people. Many of the recent job cuts were seemingly optimization measures that came into being as the number of people staying overnight at Atlantic City casinos continued to fall.
Perhaps things are going to change. Non-gambling income is on the rise as a result of better hotel occupancy rates. As such, the need for casino staff will likely rise as well. In the first three months of this year, casino hotels were occupied at a rate of 63%. That is an increase of roughly 11% over the same time in 2021. Average occupancy was 81.5 percent for Ocean and 41.6 percent for Golden Nugget. These were two of the highest in the state.