Terry Glebocki made news recently by becoming the only current female CEO of an Atlantic City casino.
But after being promoted from chief financial officer at Ocean Casino Resort, she is more interested in being known for reviving the property that was first opened as Revel in 2012 before being revamped last year.
“To turn around the property, we needed to make a lot of changes fast. I called it a top/down, bottom/up approach,” Glebocki said in an email to NJ Online Gambling. “We needed to grow the revenues while reducing expenses — certainly not the easiest things to do, but that’s what we did. We increased marketing offers to drive visitation, examined every expense, and changed the fixed cost structure.”
One of the challenges for Glebocki and her team was to shake off widespread negative sentiments of Atlantic City regular visitors.
“The property had a history of being tone-deaf to most Atlantic City customers, and we’ve now overcome that,” Glebocki said, noting a recent poll showing her property topping the list for “best casino in Atlantic City,” “best rooms,” and “best comps.”
“We knew it was important to listen to our guests’ ideas and concerns,” she added, “and I’m proud to say that we’ve tailored the improvements made thus far to be responsive to what our guests expressed.”
The numbers don’t lie
Of course, the proof lies in the monthly numbers released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Ocean Resort was by far the winner of “most improved” for November 2019 compared to the same month in 2018, with a 66.8% rise in revenue that comprised the majority of the nine-casino industry’s collective 7.1% jump for the month.
Ocean was a distant last in revenue a year ago, but the climb from $11.7 million to $19.5 million last month lifted the casino past Bally’s, Resorts, and Golden Nugget in the rankings.
One negative was an industry-worst $550K in online casino win, a decline of 24.9% off November 2018.
Sports betting in November was a mixed bag, with its $2.5 million from its highly acclaimed sportsbook pacing the Atlantic City field, but representing a drop of almost 10% compared to a year earlier.
Still, overall gaming revenue in November added up to an industry-best 48.2% increase.
“I’m proud to say we have been profitable for six months in a row — June through November,” said Glebocki, who had taken over the CEO job on an interim basis in August. “We’ve experienced double-digit, year-over-year revenue growth for the past five months. Our leadership team continues to manage expenses without compromising the overall experience.”
The background on Glebocki
Glebocki has more than 30 years of experience in the Atlantic City market, including roles as vice president of finance for Trump Entertainment and chief financial officer for Tropicana as well as Revel after working in internal auditing at Bally’s.
“Having spent my entire career in this town, like much of my team, we understand the competitiveness of the Atlantic City market,” Glebocki said. “The team has gaming experience in other states and jurisdictions as well. This gives us a well-rounded perspective — not just of what works best in Atlantic City, but what works well for our guests overall.”
Glebocki told The Associated Press that “I like to think that I’m qualified for this job, whether I’m a man or a woman. But I do think I bring a different perspective to things. I like when there’s diversity in the team.”
(Note: There is one other Atlantic City casino being run by a woman, though she is not CEO; Karie Hall is vice president and general manager at Bally’s.)
Glebocki says she will be “enhancing and adding new gaming experiences for our guests,” with a further revamp of the casino floor, a new high-limit slot machine area, and a high-end Asian games area on the docket.
“We are in conversations with business partners interested in providing even more amenities and services that will ‘wow’ our guests, and we will continue our compelling marketing approach because we know it’s a major driver for our guests,” Glebocki added to NJ Online Gambling.
A longterm bounceback for Ocean Casino would be a remarkable outcome given its history of birth as $2.4 billion Revel casino in 2012 and its death after a second bankruptcy in 2014. A change in ownership 10 months ago led to a revamping of the executive team as the property changed its focus.
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