For several years now, Atlantic City has seen a downturn as far as the gambling industry is concerned. Four casinos shut down in 2014 and the Trump Taj Mahal joined the list of shuddered casinos in 2016, leaving the city with only seven venues in operation. However, for 2016, the casinos of New Jersey seemed to have experienced revenue gains, showing healthy profit margin for the year after figures were released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) on Friday.
The DGE is reporting (pdf) that casinos in Atlantic City saw total revenues for 2016 of $3.51 billion which is a 0.4% increase for the year. Gross operating profit came in at $587.4 million which is 7.3% higher than 2015. This is quite a feat considering that the 2015 totals would have included the Trump Taj Mahal which was open all year in 2015 but only operational until October 2016, so the venue only partially contributed last year to the overall totals.
Casino sales were the driving force behind the revenues gains for last year with sales coming in at $2.52 billion. Entertainment revenues were also up at $154.5 million while room revenues declined by .2% to just over $405 million. Food and beverage sales also declined, coming in at $431 million, which is a decrease of 2.2%.
Four of the seven operating casinos were able to see profits in 2016 overall, with the Borgata Casino leading the way, with gains of just over 13% with $244.7 million earnings. The largest improvement in regards to year-on-year totals was posted by the Golden Nugget, with an increase of just over 28% with $29 million in earnings earned.
As far as declines are concerned, Caesars Entertainment was on the losing end. The group’s Harrah’s property earned $119.1 million for the year, which is a decrease of -3%. Caesars AC fell to almost 4% with $80.3 million in earnings while Bally’s was down 2.5% to $39 million in earnings.
The report by the DGE also revealed totals for Atlantic City operators who offer online gambling, only covering Caesars Interactive Entertainment New Jersey and Resorts Digital. For Caesars Interactive, the group showed a profit of $9.77 million which is a large increase when compared to 2015, up 143%. For Resorts Digital, the company earned $20.4 million for the year with a net loss of $1.37 million.
Efforts are being made to improve the gambling industry of Atlantic City, with new venues in the works, including the recent acquisition of the former Trump Taj Mahal by Hard Rock International. Hard Rock announced their plan to invest $375 million into the property with an opening date set for summer of 2018. The casino will now be known as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.