Gaming numbers released this week show Atlantic City casinos profited in 2017, as gross operating profits increased by 22.5% to a total of $723m (£585m).
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released data from 2017 operations of the seven casinos currently offering gaming services in Atlantic City. The casinos saw significant gains in 2017, with nearly $133m (£94m) more in gross operating profits last year than in 2016. There were eight casinos operating in 2016, but the Trump Taj Mahal Casino closed in October of that year.
When considering casino net revenues as a whole, with land-based and online gaming combined, Atlantic City casinos saw an increase to over $2.67b (£1.88b) for the 12 months ending December 31st. This was up from the $2.5b (£1.8b) earned in 2016.
When considering online gaming alone, the state brought in over $25m (£18m) in operating profits for the year.
The Atlantic City casino hotels also did well, with reports showing increases in occupancy rates and average room rates from 2016 to 2017. During the 12-month period, the occupancy rate increased to 86.9% from 85.2%. The average room rate went up a small percentage, to $108.35 (£76.59) from $106.71 (£75.43).
Looking at individual totals, the Borgata reigned supreme with over $290m (£205m) in profits for 2017, an increase of 19.5%. The largest profit increase percentage for 2017 was earned by the Tropicana Atlantic City. The casino earned almost $92m (£65m) last year, after reporting just under $54m (£38m) in 2016. This is an amazing increase of 71% year-over-year.
Resorts Casino Hotel saw a nice yearly increase as well, with $23.165m (£16.369m) in profits for 2017, a 23.6% increase from 2016’s earnings of $18.7m (£15.1m). The only casino to see a profit decrease in 2017 was Harrah’s Resort. Despite a slight decrease of 2.7%, the brand was still able to earn $115.9m (£81.9m) for the year.
New casinos this summer
Two more casinos should be added in Atlantic City this year. Ocean Resort Casino and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City are both due to open this summer and will provide even more casino gaming, entertainment, and hotel stays for the region.
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City was formerly known as the Trump Taj Mahal. Hard Rock International acquired the property from Carl Icahn in mid-2017.
Hard Rock has been working to prepare the property for opening this summer. It will offer 2,200 slot machines and 125 table games to casino visitors, along with food and beverage options, event space, and more.
The Ocean Resort Casino was formerly known as the Revel Casino and then TEN before being sold by Florida-based developer Glenn Straub in early January 2018 to AC Ocean Walk LLC, the group of Colorado developer Bruce Deifik. The casino just recently announced a partnership with the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, marking the first time that the Hyatt brand will offer accommodations in Atlantic City.
With the two new locations in Atlantic City, casino profits as a whole should continue to increase for the region.
Casino Control Commission chairman James Plousis told the Press of Atlantic City:“The industry is on the verge of a significant expansion this summer, which will create a new array of attractions and attract a lot of additional visitors to the city. That expansion may put pressure on the current operators, but I think the industry is well positioned to deal with the new competition.”
It will be interesting to see how the two new casinos fare and how the existing operators adapt to the new competition once the industry increases from seven to nine gaming venues in Atlantic City, hopefully by this summer.