The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is still winning big. - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

The 2,010-room casino hotel, which has bowled over its competitors since opening in July 2003, posted gross operating profits of $223.5 million last year, tops among the city???s 12 properties, according to figures released yesterday by the state Casino Control Commission.
As a whole, Atlantic City???s casinos made $1.23 billion in 2004, a 5.8 percent increase over the previous year, despite a monthlong strike at seven of the casinos.

Borgata made $67.7 million in profits in 2003, but was open for only six months. It was one of five casinos that were not struck by Local 54 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union last year.

The only casinos besides Borgata to post year-over-year increases in profits in 2004 were Showboat Casino-Hotel, Trump Marina and the Sands Hotel & Casino. Of those three, only Showboat was affected by the strike: The others had agreements in place with the striking union.

According to the commission:

- Showboat, which is owned by Harrah???s Entertainment, posted profits of $129.9 million, up 12.7 percent over the prior year.

- Trump Marina, whose owner Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts filed for bankruptcy Nov. 21, reported $53.2 million in profits, a 1.7 percent boost.

- Sands, which is owned by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, earned $18.4 million, a 44.1 percent increase.

Occupancy rates in the casinos dropped slightly for the year, to 90.6 percent, according to the commission.

Often considered the most accurate yardstick for gauging casino profitability, gross operating profits are the profits posted by the casinos before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and other non-operating charges.

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