ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – The coronavirus outbreak caused Atlantic City casino profits to drop by more than 80% last year, according to figures released by New Jersey gambling regulators on Friday.
But despite these dismal numbers, seven of the nine casinos still managed to turn a profit, however small, in 2020.
The state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement reported that the nine casinos collectively recorded $ 117.5 million in gross operating profits in 2020. This was down from nearly $ 594 million a year earlier. early, before the pandemic forces casinos to close for 3.5 months and limits their operations. even after reopening.
Gross operating income reflects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and other expenses, and is a widely accepted measure of profitability in the Atlantic City casino industry.
“Atlantic City and its casinos have had their most difficult year in history,” said James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. Even after being allowed to reopen in July, casino revenues were limited by travel restrictions, limited amenities and canceled entertainment, he added.
“Yet, through responsible management, the casinos have proven that it is safe to play in person,” Plousis said. “When tourists come back to shore, they can be confident that Atlantic City is safe for the summer.”
The Ocean Casino Resort posted the biggest operating profit at $ 21.8 million, up from $ 6.7 million in 2019. Its owners announced this week that the Ilitch family of Detroit, who own the chain. Pizza Little Caesars, professional baseball and hockey teams and a Detroit casino, buys half of the Ocean casino.
Ocean was the only Atlantic City casino to increase profits during the pandemic year.
“Despite the extraordinary challenges of 2020, Ocean has shown continued growth, emerging as the industry leader in gross gaming revenue,” said Terry Glebocki, CEO of Ocean, in a statement. “Thanks to the hard work and determination of our team in the months leading up to and following our temporary shutdown due to the global pandemic, Ocean has had a successful year. As restrictions ease and we reopen other areas of our business, I am optimistic that we will continue to see growth in the game throughout 2021. “
The Tropicana earned $ 18.7 million, but that was a drop of over 78% from a year earlier. Hard Rock earned $ 10.9 million, down almost 72%, and Caesars earned $ 10.4 million, down over 84%.
Harrah’s earned $ 8.5 million, down over 90%; Golden Nugget earned $ 7.2 million, down almost 74%, and the Borgata posted operating profit of just $ 650,000 for the year, down 99.7% from 2019 It was the last Atlantic City casino to reopen last year, several weeks after the others.
Resorts reported an operating loss of $ 10.5 million, compared to a profit of $ 17.6 million in 2019. Resorts is in the process of expanding its management agreement with the Mohegan tribe in Connecticut to manage its operations. Atlantic City casino operations.
Bally’s reported an operating loss of $ 10 million, compared to a profit of $ 27.5 million in 2019.
Among internet-only entities, Resorts Digital made operating profit of over $ 21 million, up from $ 8.5 million in 2019. Caesars Interactive Entertainment-NJ made nearly $ 20 million in profit, up more than 45%, and Golden Nugget Online Gaming, which was split last year, showed a profit of $ 18.6 million.
For the fourth quarter of 2020, the results of which were also released on Friday, Atlantic City casinos reported collective gross operating profit of $ 57.8 million, down more than 53% from 2019. .
Ocean also had the most expensive average hotel room rate in 2020, at nearly $ 202. The Borgata was a distant second at $ 160.
Resorts had the lowest average room rate at $ 101, followed by Hard Rock at $ 112.
Ocean also had the highest occupancy rate in 2020 at 84%. The city as a whole averaged nearly 62% occupancy.