- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2015

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Atlantic City’s casinos saw their gross operating profits increase by 61 percent in the third quarter of this year.

Figures released Monday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement show the eight casinos turned a collective profit of $237.4 million in July, August and September.

That’s compared to the $147.5 million in profit they posted in the same period last year.

“These results show that casino operations are stabilizing after several difficult years,” said Matt Levinson, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “Each of the eight casino hotels reported significant increases in the third quarter. The higher profits came from increased gaming, hotel, food and beverage revenues, and reduced expenses at the properties.”

The increases ranged from 41 percent at the Tropicana to nearly 182 percent at the Trump Taj Mahal.

But the large percentage increases are more a reflection of how bad it was last year, when four Atlantic City casinos closed their doors. The Showboat (Aug. 31), Revel (Sept. 2) and Trump Plaza (Sept. 16) all shut down in the third quarter of 2014.

The largest profit in dollar terms came at the Borgata, where operating profit was $82.1 million.

For the first nine months of this year, the casinos’ collective gross operating profit was $450.9 million, an increase of 67.5 percent over the same period last year.

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

Net revenue for the quarter was $783 million, up 5 percent from the same period a year ago.

Hotel room occupancy in what is typically the busiest period for Atlantic City’s casinos was nearly 92 percent in July, August and September, which was slightly below the figure for the same period last year. The Borgata had the highest average room rate at $141.58, while the Golden Nugget was the lowest at $82.12.

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Wayne Parry can be reached at https://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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