LAND CASINOS FEEL THE PINCH
First quarter numbers down in Atlantic City casinos
The economic slowdown in the United States seems to be biting land gambling casinos in Atlantic City, according to a report this week from Associated Press, which revealed that a 17.7 percent decrease in overall gross operating profits has been recorded for the first quarter of 2008 by the state Casino Control Commission.
Gross operating profits represent earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and other charges, and the 11 casinos reported that these totaled $243.8 million for the first three months of 2008, a significant $52.4 million decline from the $296.2 million recorded for the same period in 2007. Net revenues fell by 4.8 percent to $1.1 billion for Q1 2008.
The Casino Control Commission numbers show that eight casinos reported losses in net income, led by a $30 million loss at the Tropicana Casino and Resort, which is up for sale after the former owners lost their casino license.
Resorts Atlantic City reported a $9.2 million loss, and its sister property, the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort, posted a $7 million loss. The Borgata led the industry in both gross operating profits ($56.4 million), and net income ($27.8 million). But both those figures were down from the same period in 2007.
Associated Press speculates that Atlantic City establishments have been hurt by new slot parlours in New York and Pennsylvania. The casinos reported their first annual revenue decline last year since casino gambling began in Atlantic City in 1978, as the "win" dropped 5.7 percent, to $4.92 billion.
The situation has apparently impacted the award of comps, where overall expenditure by the AC casinos has declined by 5.5 percent in quarter 1 this year.
The average Atlantic City hotel room cost $93.03 a night in the first quarter, down from $101.84 in the last quarter of 2007, reports AP.