The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has released the official revenue figures for the fourth quarter of 2019 – the last full quarter before the coronavirus pandemic hit. The state’s gaming industry generated $129.2 million in revenue, marking a year-on-year increase of 79%.
The big winners were Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort. Both were only in their second quarter of operations in the latter part of 2018. With over a year in the game, Hard Rock soared to profits of $9 million in the last quarter of 2019 after copping a $15 million loss the year before. Ocean had similar profit numbers in 2019 following a $22 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2018.
However, those results accounted for almost all of the year-to-year increases in the New Jersey gambling industry. In looking at 2019 against the previous years, the gains were somewhat modest to the tune of 5.8% for a total of $613 million.
The Borgata has been a market leader in Atlantic City since opening its doors in 2003. It took in $210 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, which was more than a third of the overall industry profits. Harrah’s came in second place with $91 million and third place went to Tropicana with $87 million.
While Ocean and Hard Rock saw solid fourth quarters, only the Golden Nugget and Borgata saw an increase in its gross operating profits in 2019 at 5% and 2% respectively. Pulling up the rear was Bally’s, which was recently sold to Twin River, with $28 million – a decrease of 31% from 2018.
The hotel room occupancy rate for the New Jersey casinos had a slight drop from 80.4% to 78.9%. Ocean Casino Resort had the highest average room rate of $180.70 and also had the highest occupancy rate at 85.3%.
Resorts Casino, which is the oldest casino and hotel property in Atlantic City, had the lowest average room rate of $94.63 last year. The huge Borgata property was head and shoulders above the rest of the casinos for total hotel customers with over 820,000 nights of room occupation.