Atlantic City casino profits in the second quarter of the year reveal that overall business is strong in the nation’s emergence from the pandemic.
Though COVID-19 is still spreading because of the delta variant, vaccinations have led to far fewer serious symptoms and deaths. Atlantic City’s nine casinos have been operating freely of coronavirus-related restrictions since May 19, 2021.
Second quarter data — April through June — supplied by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), reveals that pent-up demand is driving back visitors to Atlantic City. All but one casino posted an operating profit.
With Atlantic City in the midst of recovery, especially considering where it was one year ago, all of the operators and their employees are to be commended for providing excellent customer experiences, first-class dining and entertainment, and a safe environment,” New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chairman James Plousis said in a statement supplied to Casino.org.
MGM Resorts Borgata led the way in the second quarter by posting a three-month profit of nearly $40.4 million. Tropicana was a distant second at $28 million.
Gross operating profit, the DGE explains, reflects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, charges from affiliates, and other miscellaneous items as reflected on each casino licensees’ income statement. It is a measure of profitability in the Atlantic City gaming industry.
Better Than Pre-Pandemic
The second quarter of 2021 is not comparable with the same three months in 2020, as the nine casino resorts were completely closed on state orders last year. But compared with the second quarter of 2019 — long before COVID-19 changed the world — profits in Q2 2021 were healthier.
Gross profits were more than 16 percent higher than in 2019, when the resorts reported $159.3 million in income. Plousis chalked up the performance to “efficiencies and ongoing responsible management.”
Q2 Gross Operating Profit
- Borgata — $40.37M
- Tropicana — $28.01M
- Hard Rock — $26.11M
- Harrah’s — $24.87M
- Caesars — $18.54M
- Ocean — $16.95M
- Golden Nugget — $10.7M
- Resorts — $7.33M
- Bally’s — ($3.47M)
Bally’s, the lone casino in the red, changed ownership from Caesars Entertainment to Twin River World Holdings last year. Twin River subsequently changed its corporate name to Bally’s. The Boardwalk resort is amid a major, much-needed renovation.
Hotel Rooms Vacant
Atlantic City casinos have streamlined their operations in the wake of COVID-19. That’s allowed them to greatly improve their bottom lines.
DGE statistics regarding hotel occupancy signal that while the resorts are operating more efficiently, they’re doing so with fewer overnight guests.
The town’s roughly 15,100 casino hotel guest rooms in Q2 2019 were occupied 81.5 percent of the time. The going average rate was $139.76. Room sales totaled $155.55 million.
During Q2 in 2021, hotel occupancy was just 70 percent. However, the average nightly rate jumped to $158. Occupied room nights totaled 920,731, bringing room revenue to $145.47 million.
Ocean Casino Resort was the go-to destination during the second quarter of 2021. The Boardwalk property reported an occupancy rate of 94.8 percent and commanded the highest nightly rate in Atlantic City at $217.54.
Borgata, which led in occupancy and highest rate prior to the pandemic, surprisingly came in last in occupancy at just 49.1 percent. The resort’s average rate was down to $151.33.
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