With casinos spending almost four months on shutdown in 2020, many have lost over 80% of their profits, while the Ocean Casino Resort notched up a small profit.
Casinos in AC Post Worst Year in History
Following a strong January, Atlantic City saw a steady downturn in profit with the numbers for 2020 crashing by 80% based on data made available by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE). And if this seems like a rather grim picture for casino operators in 2020, the nine AC casinos still managed to rebound with a small profit last year, beating all odds and keeping their heads above water.
The DGE said that casinos managed to generate $117.5 million in gross profits last year, which was down $594 million from a year before. The pandemic forced casinos to shut down for almost four months and when properties were finally allowed to return, they had to face the lack of tourists and capacity limitations.
New Jersey Casino Control Commission chair James Plousis said that casinos went through their most challenging year in history and that earnings were further impacted in July because of travel restrictions, scaled-down amenities, and canceled entertainment events.
“Yet, through responsible management, the casinos proved that in-person gaming could happen safely. As tourists return to the shore, they can have every confidence Atlantic City is safe for the summer,” Plousis added cited by the Associated Press.
Looking at the numbers up close, The Ocean Casino Resort managed to pull ahead of the rest, generating $21.8 million in total profit, and surprisingly up $6.7 million from 2019. This comes at the same time that the Ilitch family is purchasing half of the Ocean casino.
Not surprising, Ocean is the only casino in Atlantic City to increase its profit year-over-year during the pandemic. Ocean CEO Terry Glebocki spared her team no praise, commending their hard work and determination that resulted in growth when all other competitors suffered from the pandemic.
Optimism Returns to Atlantic City
Glebocki is naturally optimistic. “As restrictions ease and we reopen additional areas of our business, I’m optimistic we’ll continue to see gaming growth throughout 2021,” she said. Other properties’ results varied. The Tropicana saw $18.7 million in yearly profit, or 78% down from 2019 and Hard Rock earned some $10.9 million or 72% down.
In percentage value, Borgata was the one worst affected as the property saw its profit drop 99.7% from 2019, earning only $650,000 in 2020. Harrah’s managed to fetch $8.5 million or a 90% downturn. Meanwhile, the Golden Nugget amassed $7.2 million, down 74%.
Not least, there was Caesars which saw profit fall by 84% to $10.4 million. On the flipside, Resorts Digital, which only operates online gambling facilities, has managed to score $21 million or up by $8.5 million from 2019, proving the link between shutdowns and increased gambling activity online.