Eight of Atlantic City’s 12 casino hotels turned a profit in the second quarter of 2013, with Tropicana Casino and Resort and Caesars Atlantic City showing the most striking numbers.
Tropicana’s operating profits rose 28 percent to $12.6 million, while Caesars was up 17 percent to $24.3 million.
Six other casinos also ended in the black for the second quarter, although at each of those properties operating profits dipped by double digits compared to a year ago.
Overall, gross operating profits for all Atlantic City casinos came in at $65 million, down 45 percent compared with $117.9 million in the second quarter a year ago, according to figures released Thursday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa led the industry with a $28.1 million operating profit, down 11 percent. Joe Lupo, Borgata’s senior vice president of operations, pointed out that profits would have increased for the quarter if not for a one-time $4.3 million property-tax charge.
“The difference was the property tax. Besides the property tax, we would be up,” he said. “We were happy about our performance.”
Executives representing the other casinos that posted a profit for the quarter were not immediately available for comment.
Of the gainers, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino struggled the most, eking out a $211,000 profit compared to $13.1 million a year ago. Sister property Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort posted a $5.6 million operating profit, down 73 percent from nearly $21 million in the second quarter of 2012.
Revel Casino-Hotel, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, Golden Nugget Atlantic City and Resorts Casino Hotel each suffered losses in the second quarter. In Revel’s case, its nearly $41 million operating loss was the biggest for the industry. Last year, Revel had a $35.2 million loss in the second quarter.
Jeffrey Hartmann, Revel’s interim chief executive officer, declined to comment on the results.
Revel emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May under new ownership. Revel’s management credited the casino’s new “Gamblers Wanted” campaign for boosting its gambling revenue by 33 percent in July. Revel’s second-quarter results cover April, May and June, so they don’t include the July launch for the marketing blitz.
Overall, Atlantic City’s operating profits continue to decline amid the sluggish economy and fierce competition from casinos in surrounding states, particularly Pennsylvania. The industry has struggled to break a seven-year slump in gambling revenue.
For the first half of 2013, the casinos’ gross operating profits are down more than 50 percent — coming in at $106.5 million, compared with $232.3 million in the same period a year ago.
Gross operating profit includes earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and other charges. It is considered the most widely accepted measure of the casinos’ financial health.
The industry’s total revenues are down 10 percent so far this year, to $1.9 billion. Total revenue includes money from the casino operations, hotel sales, food and beverage and entertainment.
In the second quarter, the average room rate dipped slightly to $100.21, while hotel occupancy fell 6 percent, to 78 percent, compared to last year.
Although casino operating profits and total revenues have declined, the Division of Gaming Enforcement pointed to modest increases in luxury tax revenue and sales taxes generated by the tourism industry over the past 12 months.
Sales at third-party businesses that operate within the casino hotels are up almost 20 percent through the first six months of 2013, the division also noted.
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