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ATLANTIC CITY-The city’s casinos saw a 38% drop in gross operating profits in Q1, according to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. Compared to Q1 ’08, when gross operating profits reached $243.8 million, GOP in the first three months of this year came in at $151.2 million. Meanwhile, net revenues declined 16.2% to $925.2 million during the same timeframe.

Gross operating profits are defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and charges from affiliates. After all of those other charges, the industry racked up a net loss of $94.7 million in Q1 versus a net loss of $32.6 million a year earlier.

Casino occupancy also fell. Even though the number of occupied room nights in casino hotels rose by slightly more than 6,000 to just under 1.2 million, the addition of more than 2,100 rooms compared to a year ago pushed down occupancy to 75.3% from 86.3% in the first quarter of last year.

Performance by individual properties did vary somewhat, although all saw revenues sink. Leading the pack was the Borgata, which reported GOP of $47 million, a decrease of 16.6%. Harrah’s gross operating profits came in at $32.7 million, down 15.8%; Bally’s Q1 $27.2 million in gross operating profits represents a decline of 14.3%, and Trump Taj Mahal reported gross operating profits of $20.4 million, a 18.7% reduction.

Caesars reported gross operating profits of $19.7 million, a 48.8% drop from the same period a year ago; Showboat reported gross operating profits of $14.2 million, down 33.4%; and the Tropicana reported a decline of 59.6% to $4.8 million.

The Trump Plaza reported a gross operating loss of $529,000 versus a gross operating profit of $9.6 million in the same period last year, while Trump Marina withstood a gross operating loss of $858,000 compared to a gross operating profit of $4.8 million last year.Resorts reported a $5-million gross operating loss compared to a $1.4-million gross operating profit, and the Atlantic City Hilton reported a gross operating loss of $8.4 million compared to a gross operating profit of $4.2 million in the same period last year.

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