Atlantic City’s casino industry continues to toil with operating profits falling significantly. If they thought quarterly figures were going to miraculously look better than the month-by-month ones then they were very wrong. In the third quarter, the city’s casino business industry saw gross operating profits drop 13% ending the period on $182.1million. Net revenue dropped by 9% to $933.8m as the city continued to count the cost of Hurricane Irene back in August. Tropicana President went as far to say that if it hadn’t been for Irene the profits would have been the same as last year. When we tried to track down Irene she wasn’t available for comment.
It doesn’t seem to have affected one international entertainment company. Hard Rock International saw enough optimism to advance with a project in the city. CEO Jim Allen told the New Jersey Casino Control Commission they’d start construction on the project next July with tentative plans to open in 2014. The first phase will comprise a 200-room casino hotel with the second phase made up of a 650-room tower. The first part is set to cost around $465milion alone. The new Hard Rock venue is the first of a number of “boutique” casinos to be permitted under changes to the state law. It means the minimum threshold is 200-rooms as opposed to the original 500 room lower-limit and is what attracted Hard Rock to construct the venue.
The city’s casino business properties may be plagued by a number of problems. Thankfully labor conflict won’t be one of them. Local 54 of the United-HERE union agreed a deal with Trump Entertainment Resorts in the second deal in as many months. Details on the agreement are sparse but the contract means “the needs of all parties” are “satisfied” according to Robert Griffin, CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts. Deals are still yet to be signed with a number of other resorts. Maybe if Trump asks real nicely they’ll even sort him out a new skunk to put on his head.