Casinos in New Jersey have posted one of their strongest second-quarter results in recent years. Demand for in-person gambling has outstripped interest in interactive gaming.
Atlantic City Casinos Post Strong Results amid Rapid Recovery
New Jersey is on the rebound, with Atlantic City’s casinos clocking in a strong second-quarter this year. Business has been recovering despite a looming COVID-19 wave which has been mostly managed by city officials, and gamblers have once again flocked back to the casino floors.
Recovery was strong during the second quarter of the year, with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) revealing results for the period from April through June. The nine AC casinos brought in a total of $185.1 million in gross operating profit, which is much better than Q2 2020, when the casinos remained shuttered amid the pandemic and posted an aggregate loss of $112.4 million. The amount is calculated before EBITDA and has been used as a benchmark for gauging the profitability of casinos in Atlantic City.
Results were not just better than Q2 2020. They also beat results in 2019, with the regulator reporting a 16% increase in 2021 compared to 2019’s results. Commenting on these developments, New Jersey Casino Control Commission chairman James Plousis allowed himself to be optimistic, acknowledging the strong recovery and commending all businesses on the efforts they have made to rehire members of the staff and bring a first-class dining and entertainment experience in a safe and healthy environment.
Occupancy and Profitability Soars, as In-Person Demand Increases
The results were good, noted Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University director Jane Bokunewicz, and Atlantic City has been able to generate one of its best quarterly results in recent years.
The highest operating profit was posted in by The Borgata with $40 million, followed by the Tropicana with $28 million. The Ocean Casino brought in another $17 million, and the Golden Nugget hit $10.7 million. Resorts hit $7.3 million in operating profit, and Bally’s seemed to be the only property to post a $3.5 million loss, but still much better than the $8.8 million operating loss the casino posted in 2020.
Interestingly, demand for Internet gambling has also slowed down, with Caesars Interactive reporting a 43% decline year-over-year, reflecting on bigger demand for in-person gambling options. City occupancy rate also hit 70% during the second quarter, with the Ocean Casino achieving 95% occupancy during the period.
Casinos returning in the black is good news for the city and state as well. A percentage of the proceeds generated through a tax on casino gaming is allocated to state and local health and human services initiatives.
Recovery in Q2 seems to have carried over to the third quarter, but the United States is already reporting 1000 daily deaths from COVID-19 infections, putting a grim outlook for the months to follow.