Borgata has succeeded where other Atlantic City Casinos have failed
Exactly 10 years ago, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa opened and started a new era in Atlantic City history. Before Borgata, Atlantic City casinos weren’t exactly known for their amenities, decor or style. Instead, the hotels were more of place for gamblers to rest their heads in between blackjack or slots sessions.
But the Borgata changed all of this after bringing celebrity chefs, fine dining, luxurious spa facilities and big-name music acts to the table. As for the latter, Borgata was the first to book music talents David Bowie, Billy Joel, Prince and Duran Duran as well as comics like Chris Rock, Dane Cook, Artie Lange and Louis CK.
The Borgata also made waves when they built a lavish disco nightclub called MIXX. This venue was the first of its kind in Atlantic City and has done an excellent job of attracting a younger crowd. “Borgata definitely introduced a new era in Atlantic City,” said casino analyst Steve Norton. “I think Borgata made everyone else shine their shoes, in a sense, to upgrade their facilities, if they had the funds.”
As Norton alluded to, the approach that Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa takes towards their establishment has a big impact on how the rest of Atlantic City does business today. Now we have the Quarter at the Tropicana, the House of Blues at Showboat, the Pool at Harrah’s, and the $2.4 billion Revel.
The latter was designed to be Borgata Version 2.0 with its unparalleled facilities and amenities. In fact, many predicted that the more expensive Revel would quickly overtake the Borgata as Atlantic City’s premier destination. But the Revel has instead been a huge disappointment and had to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy to stay afloat.
Basically, the Borgata has managed to succeed where most other Atlantic City casinos have failed. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re currently rolling in profits, thanks to heavy competition from nearby Philadelphia and New York City.
“If you look at their financials, they are in trouble right now,” Norton said. “They did $900 million in (total) revenue last year ($613 million in gaming revenue), which was down roughly $50 million from the year before. After they paid $82 million in taxes, they were in the red.”
Like all of the other casinos in AC, Borgata is banking on gaining some of this lost revenue back through online gaming. New Jersey legalized online poker earlier this year in hopes of giving the struggling gambling mecca a boost.