2010 a Rough Year for Atlantic City Casinos, Hotels

Although it was a challenging year for virtually all industries in all locations, last year was especially difficult for gaming in Atlantic City, N.J., according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, which this month released its 2010 year-end results, showing a significant decline in profits at casino-hotels in Atlantic City.

According to state financial reports, Atlantic City's 11 casino-hotels last year reported a gross operating profit of $534.9 million, which was down 26.7 percent from $729.7 million in 2009. In the fourth quarter alone, operating profit was down 43.9 percent year-over-year, totaling $62.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to $111.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Net revenues also were down, by 11 percent in the fourth quarter and by 7.9 percent for the year.

New Jersey's hospitality industry blames the downturn on the economy, as well as increased gaming competition in neighboring Pennsylvania, which recently legalized table games. It remains optimistic, however, that Gov. Chris Christie's plan to revitalize Atlantic City tourism will produce a sure and swift recovery.

"I think 2011 should be a building year for the industry," Dennis Gomes, CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel, told The Press of Atlantic City early this month. "If the economy improves, it's going to be an even better year for Atlantic City."