Atlantic City, New Jersey casinos
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New Jersey casinos continue to struggle to make headway in terms of operating profit during Q1, despite the fact that revenue is enjoying an uptick throughout the quarter. 

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has published its Q1 casino report, which revealed that revenues across the Garden State’s nine licensed casinos have improved by 4.6 per cent year-over-year, reaching $756.6m. 

The vast majority of this growth came from Bally’s Atlantic City, the revenues of which shot up by 40.3 per cent in the year ended March 31, 2023 to $43.5m.

Despite revenue growth across the board, gross operating profit took a hit of 14.8% YoY, with bottom-line profits reaching $135.4m across the board. Only three of the nine licensed properties recorded growth in profit from Q1 of 2022 as the sector continues to struggle. 

Once again, Bally’s recorded the greatest growth in terms of operating profit in Q1, recording 101.3 per cent variance to its bottom line to reach $88k.

The market leader in New Jersey during Q1 was Borgata, which generated revenues of $186.9m throughout the period, up 14 per cent. YoY. Despite topline growth, bottom line woes were felt as operating profit shrank by 50.3 per cent, slumping to just $22.8m.

Hard Rock Atlantic City was second placed in market share with revenue of $124.7m, though this was still down 4.4 per cent on the $130.4m yielded in Q1 of 2022. 

The operator’s profit was dented too, as it made just $22.2m, down 17.5% from the same period last year. 

The most drastic reduction in a casino’s bottom line was felt by Resorts Casino, which made a loss of $284k, marking a 153.9 per cent slump in its profit. 

Caesars’ experienced operating profit growth of 7.2 percent, reaching $11.4m, whilst Harrah’s enjoyed $12.3m in profit, up 21.2 per cent YoY. Finally, Ocean Resort’s operating profit was $23.6m, an increase of 27.6 per cent. 

Disappointing results will only be compounded when considering the comparative period in Q1 of 2022 was impacted by the Omicron variant of Covid-19, displaying New Jersey casino’s struggle to truly recover from the pandemic. 

Further threats to the Atlantic City industry are looming large too, as the process to license three land-based properties in downstate New York is underway. With an array of large operators all bidding for the potentially lucrative space in NYC, some have suggested that Atlantic City could bear the brunt. 

Last month, Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen warned that the opening of three casinos in downstate New York could lead to other casino closures in the city. 

He said: “Atlantic City receives 20, 30-plus percent of its revenue from upstate New Jersey and downstate New York, and there’s no doubt it is going to have an impact on this particular market.

“So you have three or four that are very strong and then I think there’s a question as to what happens in that next level down. I think it’s a concern that if these other casinos don’t perform, then inevitably from a business standpoint, is there vulnerability? I don’t think that changes unless there’s enhancement to the perception of Atlantic City.