ATLANTIC CITY — The introduction of two new casinos to the resort’s gaming market contributed to a reduction in profits for the city’s gaming industry, according to third-quarter numbers released Friday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.
“Industry profits were down in light of the new competition that entered the market,” said James Plousis, chairman of the state Casino Control Commission. “On a positive note, compared to last year, over 6,300 more people were working in the industry, and there were nearly 5,400 more full-time jobs.”
The numbers also reflect an increase in spending at casinos, as net revenue increased nearly 18 percent over the same quarter last year. But with the addtion of two new casinos, and likely increased spending by all properties, profits shrank.
Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City opened June 27. The additions of the two properties brought the total number of properties in the resort to nine.
Gross operating profits for Atlantic City’s casino industry in the third quarter, which includes July, August and September, were $213.7 million, a decrease of 15.3 percent from the same quarter in 2017, when that figure was $252.3 million.
Gross operating profit reflects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and other charges, and is a widely accepted measure of profitability in the Atlantic City casino industry.
Tropicana Atlantic City saw the biggest drop in profit, down more than 31 percent to $31.8 million from the same period last year. Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was down nearly 22 percent to $63.2 million, and Resorts Casino Hotel was down 14.7 percent to $9.2 million. Harrah’s Resort was down 5.6 percent to $35.9 million, and Caesars Atlantic City was down 2.5 percent to $28.7 million.
Among internet-only entitles, Resorts Digital was down 83.3 percent to $2 million, and Caesars Interactive NJ was down 69.4 percent to $1.1 million.
For the first nine months of 2018, gross operating profits were $508.7 million, a 9.3 percent decrease from the $560 million reported for the same period last year.
During the third quarter, the city’s casino industry generated more than $919.9 million in net revenue, compared with nearly $781.2 million during the same period last year.
For the first nine months of 2018, net revenues were $2.2 billion, a 6.4 percent increase from the $2 billion reported for the same period last year.
“Clearly the gaming industry’s growth has been beneficial for Atlantic City, the region and the state,” Plousis said.
The addition of the two new casinos brought more people to the city, according to Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton University.
Vehicle counts at the Pleasantville Toll Plaza on the Atlantic City Expressway increased by 6.3 percent, going from 5,472,997 vehicles in 2017 to 5,818,652 in 2018. Passenger counts at Atlantic City International Airport followed a similar trend, showing a 2.8 percent increase in volume for the quarter.
“Sustained growth in the lodging segment demonstrates the resilience of Atlantic City as it continues its transformation from a gaming-centric market to a multifaceted destination resort on the East Coast.” Pandit said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report