The casino industry in Atlantic City has struggled as gross gaming revenues have declined by as much as fifty percent in the last decade. The city which has a monopoly on New Jersey’s casino industry saw four out of its twelve casinos shutdown in 2014 and will also see its fifth casino closure in October when the Trump Taj Mahal casino shutsdown.
However the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) recently reported that combined casino revenues during the first half of 2016 had risen by 21 percent and appears that things are finally turning around for Atlantic City’s casino industry. The total revenue generated by the eight casinos in the City stood at $1.68 billion during the first six months of 2016 when compared to the $1.66 billion generated during the first half of 2015.
In a statement, Matthew Levinson, the chairman of the Casino Control Commission said “Slowly but surely, casino profits are increasing as operators in Atlantic City work to rebuild their business. The $259 million in profits for the six months is the highest since 2010. Profits were up at six of the casinos — and by double digits at four of them. For the first time in eight years, every casino reported positive operating income.”
The Borgata which is the biggest casino and most profitable casino in Atlantic City continued to lead the pack reporting an increase of $106 million in its second quarter, a growth of 27 percent when compared to the same period in 2015. Resorts reported a profit of $5.7 million in the second quarter, a growth of 26 percent when compared to last year; The Tropicana made a profit of $17 million during the second quarter, a growth of 25 percent compared to last year and the Golden Nugget saw a profit of $13.3 million, a growth of 12 percent when compared to 2015.
Caesars brought in $36.5 million during the second quarter, which was a decline of 0.2 percent when compared to the same period in 2015 and Harrah’s brought in $57 million in the second quarter, a decline of 3 percent when compared to last year. The hotel room occupancy in Atlantic City also went up by 0.5 percentage during the first half of 2016 to 78.9 percent where the average hotel room cost was around $102 per night for the first half of 2016. The Borgata recorded the highest average room rate at $129.46 and the lowest average room rate was $77.89 at the Golden Nugget.
Just as things appear to be moving in the right direction for Atlantic City’s casino industry, a statewide referendum will go to vote on November 8 when voters will decide if they want to remove Atlantic City’s monopoly on the casino industry and introduce two new casinos in North Jersey.