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Atlantic City casino Q2 earns fall; 5 lag pre-pandemic level

August 22, 2022 GMT
Gamblers play slot machines at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City N.J. on Aug. 8, 2022. On Aug. 22, 2022, New Jersey gambling regulators reported that Atlantic City's nine casinos collectively posted a gross operating profit of $183.6 million in the second quarter of this year, down less than 1% from a year ago. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
Gamblers play slot machines at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City N.J. on Aug. 8, 2022. On Aug. 22, 2022, New Jersey gambling regulators reported that Atlantic City's nine casinos collectively posted a gross operating profit of $183.6 million in the second quarter of this year, down less than 1% from a year ago. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
Gamblers play slot machines at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City N.J. on Aug. 8, 2022. On Aug. 22, 2022, New Jersey gambling regulators reported that Atlantic City's nine casinos collectively posted a gross operating profit of $183.6 million in the second quarter of this year, down less than 1% from a year ago. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
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Gamblers play slot machines at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City N.J. on Aug. 8, 2022. On Aug. 22, 2022, New Jersey gambling regulators reported that Atlantic City's nine casinos collectively posted a gross operating profit of $183.6 million in the second quarter of this year, down less than 1% from a year ago. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
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Gamblers play slot machines at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City N.J. on Aug. 8, 2022. On Aug. 22, 2022, New Jersey gambling regulators reported that Atlantic City's nine casinos collectively posted a gross operating profit of $183.6 million in the second quarter of this year, down less than 1% from a year ago. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Atlantic City’s casinos and their online partners saw their collective profits decline by nearly 1% in the second quarter of this year, and five of the nine casinos failed to exceed their pre-pandemic profit levels, according to figures released Monday by New Jersey gambling regulators.

The state Division of Gaming Enforcement reported the casinos and online affiliates posted a 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 surpassed the $159.3 million profit they saw in the second quarter of 2019, four of the casinos posted lower individual profits than they did in that quarter, and one, Bally’s, saw an operating loss of $3.7 million.

“Although gross operating profit figures were relatively flat in the second quarter, during that time period the casino hotels were making important and significant investments in their facilities to create new and exciting experiences for their guests to enjoy,” said James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “Those capital investments are critical to ensure the long-term appeal of Atlantic City as a resort destination.”

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Gross operating profit reflects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and other expenses, and is a widely accepted measure of profitability in the Atlantic City gambling industry.

Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which studies the Atlantic City gambling market, said higher operating profits compared to 2019 shows “that casino operators have continued to leverage lessons learned during the pandemic to balance expenses with consumer demand.”

“Amid uncertainties in the market, from the continued influence of public health concerns to inflation and raised fuel prices, the industry as a whole has learned to adapt and operate profitably,” she said.

Borgata posted the largest 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.

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The 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 a year earlier; Golden Nugget Online Gaming earned $2.5 million, down from $7.8 million a year ago; and Resorts Digital earned nearly $1.8 million, down 50% from a year earlier.

The 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 rate at over 95%, while Golden Nugget had the lowest at less than 58%.

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Follow Wayne Parry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WayneParryAC