ATLANTIC CITY — The last time this city had more than 30,000 casino employees, properties such as Trump Plaza and Showboat were still going gambling concerns.
But the resort’s two new casinos have helped push the industry’s total employment back over that mark for the first time since 2014.
Atlantic City’s nine casino hotels employed 30,217 people in July, according to statistics released by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. The figure includes full- and part-time employees.
Casino Control Commission Chairman James Plousis said July’s figures reflect a mix of rehires from closed properties, veterans and Atlantic City residents.
“I think everybody in the entire industry, as well as the whole region, can be very encouraged by those numbers,” Plousis said.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino, both of which opened to the public June 27, were responsible for a combined 8,184 jobs in July, or 27 percent of the industry’s total. Hard Rock’s 4,393 jobs and Ocean Resort’s 3,791 make the properties the industry’s second- and third-largest employers.
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Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, which reported 5,938 employees in July, remained the market’s top job creator, employing nearly 20 percent of the total industry last month.
The last time the industry employed more than 30,000 people was the second quarter of 2014, when 11 casino hotels were operational. The industry managed to stay above the 30,000 mark after the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel closed in January 2014 but dipped below when Revel Casino Hotel, Showboat Atlantic City and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino closed in late summer, according to annual reports from the Casino Control Commission. By year’s end, the industry reported 24,989 total employees. (Showboat later reopened without gambling.)
After Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort closed in October 2016, it reduced the city’s total casino employment by 2,068. The following month, reported employee numbers fell below 22,000.
While noting that many longtime employees left the area for other gaming markets between 2014 and 2016, Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton University, said that “with the creation of these new jobs, the hope is that these individuals, and new participants in the casino labor market, will come back into the region. These employees are or will become residents, stimulating the local economy through their purchase of consumer goods and services.”
When Revel opened in April 2012, the industry’s 12 casino hotel properties employed 37,471 in the second quarter. By the end of 2012, the total reported casino employment was 34,726.
The last full year of Atlantic City casino employment over 30,000 was 2013, when the year’s end reported total for the industry was 32,457.