Atlantic City Q3 casino earnings up nearly 21 percent

By WAYNE PARRY Markets Associated Press

Atlantic City's casino earnings increased by nearly 21 percent in the third quarter of this year compared with a year ago, according to figures released Wednesday.

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The seven casinos posted a gross operating profit of $252.5 million for the quarter, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement's numbers show.

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

Tropicana's earnings were up 67 percent for the quarter, to $46.2 million. The Golden Nugget was up 15.4 percent to $12.8 million, and Caesars was up nearly 11 percent to $29 million.

Only the Borgata posted a quarterly loss, and theirs was less than half a percent, down to $81.8 million.

Bally's was up 10.7 percent to $18.1 million; Harrah's was up just under 1 percent to $37.7 million, and Resorts was virtually flat at $10.7 million.

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Among internet-only entities, Caesars Entertainment-NJ was up 55.4 percent to $3.7 million, and Resorts Digital went from a $570,000 profit in the third quarter of last year to a $'12.1 million profit in the third quarter this year.

For the first nine months of this year, Atlantic City's casinos show an operating profit of $561 million, up 19.8 percent from the same period last year.

The average Atlantic City hotel room cost $118 a night in the third quarter. The Borgata had the highest average price at $121, and the Golden Nugget had the cheapest at just under $93.

The casino hotels were mostly full during the quarter, averaging nearly 96 percent occupancy.

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