Atlantic City casinos probably don’t need more bad news to deal with. But unless the trends of the past few years reverse themselves, AC’s struggles are only beginning.
According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, overall casino revenues (gaming revenue, room fees, food and beverage, etc.) for 2013 reached $4.1 billion, a drop of five percent from 2012. Gross operating profits for 2013 fell 35 percent, underscoring the challenges Atlantic City casinos continue to face. For the entire year, all 12 casinos in Atlantic City posted a collective gross operating profit of just $235 million, compared to $360 million in 2012.
The Tropicana Casino and Resort reported the biggest jump in earnings for the year, increasing its profit by more than 47 percent to $26.5 million while the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa saw its profits increase by less than two percent to $121.6 million. But these were the aberrations as a lot of AC’s casinos ended 2013 in the red. Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City saw its operating profit fall 19.5 percent to $102.1 million. And even that stands as a good year compared to how other casinos fared. The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort posted a gross operating profit of $19.6 million, but that’s 55 percent worse than 2012. Bally’s, Caesars, and the Showboat Casino Hotel saw their profits decline by 45 percent ($33.4 million), 16 percent ($69.5 million), and 28 percent ($34 million) respectively.
Others fared even worse. The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino reported an operating loss of $4.7 million in 2013, a dramatic swing from its 2012 numbers when it earned an operating profit of nearly $10 million. The Golden Nugget Atlantic City fared a little better, cutting its operating loss from $11.4 million in 2012 to $10.4 million last year. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Resorts Casino Hotel, which saw its operating losses widen by more than 54 percent to $12.2 million.
The biggest loser, though, continues to be Revel Casino, which saw its 2013 losses widen by 17.4 percent to $130.2 million.
If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Atlantic City casinos’ numbers could’ve been much worse had they not posted a pretty strong Q4 2013 in which gross operating losses fell by more than 73 percent to just $5.7 million. That’s dramatically better than Q4 2012 when it lost $21.6 million on the heels of the devastation brought about by Hurricane Sandy.