Profits slump 27 percent at Atlantic City casinos

ATLANTIC CITY — Atlantic City’s casino profits fell more than 27 percent last year, even as revenue from nongaming sources inched upward.

Casinos collectively posted $360 million in gross operating profits in 2012. They were hurt by having to close for up to a week for Superstorm Sandy.

Eight of the 12 casinos posted yearly profits, led by Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, with nearly $127 million, a nearly 13 percent increase from a year earlier. The Borgata was next at just under $120 million, but that represented a decline of more than 26 percent from 2011.

Caesars Atlantic City saw a profit of $82.8 million, down more than 5 percent from 2011; Bally’s Atlantic City saw a profit of $61.2 million, up more than 25 percent; and the Showboat reported a profit of $47.1 million, down 2.6 percent.

The Trump Taj Mahal saw a profit of just under $44 million, down more than 20 percent from 2011; the Tropicana saw a profit of just under $18 million, up 2 percent; and Trump Plaza, which was recently sold to a California company, saw a profit of just under $10 million, an increase from its 2011 year-end profit of $2.6 million.

Revel, which is in bankruptcy court, posted a $110 million operating loss from its April 2 opening through year’s end.

Other casinos posting losses included The Atlantic Club, which is being bought by the PokerStars online gaming company, with a loss of more than $19 million for the year.

The Golden Nugget Atlantic City posted an $11 million loss, compared with a $2.2 million loss in 2011. Resorts posted a $7.7 million loss, an improvement from the $12.2 million loss it posted in 2011.

The Atlantic City casinos are in the seventh year of a revenue decline that began shortly after the first casinos opened in Pennsylvania and New York.

Superstorm Sandy, which came ashore just north of Atlantic City on Oct. 29, affected the casinos’ fourth-quarter earnings. Casinos closed for five to seven days.

For the fourth quarter, the casinos posted an $18 million loss, compared with an operating profit of $81 million in the last three months of 2011.

Gross operating profit reflects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and other charges, and is a widely accepted measure of profitability .

The casinos’ 2012 revenue from nongaming sources increased by just under 3 percent.

The casinos made $519 million from renting hotel rooms, up 2.2 percent; $551 million on food and beverage sales, roughly the same as last year; and $193 million on entertainment and other revenues, up more than 15 percent for the year .