The Division of Gaming Enforcement announced May 23 First Quarter 2022 results, which saw meaningful growth at Atlantic City’s casinos compared to the same period in 2020 and 2021.
Over the first three months of 2022, the casinos generated $719.8 million in net revenue—outperforming 2021’s $564.8 million by 27.4%, as well as 2020’s $597.2 million, and even exceeding 2019’s $696.6 million by 3.3%.
Additionally, the growth operating profit increased 63% for the quarter to $155.6 million compared to the first quarter of 2021 ($95.4 million).
“Gross Operating Profit (GOP), a measure of how well casinos manage their expenses relative to revenues, were high for the period,” said Jane Bokunewicz, faculty director of Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University School of Business. “GOP for first quarter 2022 ($155.6 million) exceeded first quarter GOP for each of the past five years.”
More good news for the brick-and-mortars: Occupancy rate at the state’s nine casinos, which was 63.1% for the quarter, was 10.7 percentage points higher than the same period last year.
“As operators continued to face labor shortages in the first quarter, they have had to find creative ways to satisfy consumer demand with fewer employees,” Bokunewicz explained. “The high gross operating profits in the first quarter indicate they have found an efficient balance between staffing levels and volume of business.”
The revenue surge was spearheaded, especially, by Borgata ($162.8 million, +34.9%), Hard Rock ($130.4 million, +45.9%), and Ocean Resort ($88.3 million, +45.6%). But, all nine casinos saw increases in net revenue numbers from 2021 to 2022.
On the GOP side, that same trio of Borgata ($45.8 million, +58.1%), Hard Rock ($26.8 million, +212.8%), and Ocean Resort ($18.5 million, +133.1%) paced the trend. Just two casinos saw a decrease in GOP from 2021, Bally’s (-4.7%) and Resorts (-49.8%).
“Entering the second and third quarter, the peak of economic activity for the resort, we should expect to see gains in non-gaming revenues driven by lodging occupancies,” said Bokunewicz. “Higher occupancy levels will likely also translate into higher demand for labor. How well operators can keep up with this demand, given the labor supply, rising wages and product costs, will determine if recent Gross Operating profit performance will persist.”