2018 New Jersey casino performance numbers are a mixed bag

David Madden
April 14, 2019 - 4:00 am
June 28, 2018; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; The new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. N.J

Joe Lamberti/Courier Post-USA TODAY NETWORK

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (KYW Newsradio) -- Profits were down in 2018 for casinos down the shore, according to the latest report from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. But one analyst looks at the numbers and believes the news is far from all negative. 
    
There were concerns when Hard Rock and Ocean joined seven other casinos in Atlantic City last June that things might change. They did. Five of the seven saw lower profits and as a whole, those profits dipped by 15 percent. 
    
But Rummy Pandit at the Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University believes that, overall, the industry is doing better. 
    
“We’ve experienced a 13.7 percent increase in net revenue for the three months ending in December ’18,” Pandit told KYW Newsradio. “If you consider the entire year, then our revenues are up 7.5 percent.”
    
There’s more money coming in from non-gaming sides of the business. For example, the average rate for a room in 2017 was $108 a night. Last year, it was $137 a night.
    
But he concedes expanding the gaming market from seven to nine casinos has had at least a short term effect on the industry’s bottom line.
    
“When you infuse two new properties into a marketplace, marketing expenses will typically go up,” Pandit added. “So yes, there’s some rationale as to why some of those numbers are going down.”
    
Golden Nugget topped the performance list with a 12.5 percent gain. Borgata, at the other end, dropped 18.8 percent and only two of the nine made money in the casinos.