Ocean Casino Resort — continuing in its efforts to be a legitimate rival to king-of-the-hill Borgata in the Atlantic City casino industry — this week announced an investment of $15 million into “the resort, team members, and surrounding North Beach community.”
“As restrictions are lifted and we begin reopening additional areas of our business, I am thrilled at the opportunity to present our guests with an evolving gaming experience that is unique to the market,” Ocean CEO Terry Glebocki said in a statement.
Ocean Casino just last month had announced the launch of “The Loft,” a 2,000-square-foot luxury gaming suite. That 44th-floor location with expansive Atlantic Ocean views features private butler service, personal security detail, and a tailored bar for players of blackjack, roulette, and baccarat, with more gambling options on the way.
Just before New Year’s Day, Ocean had announced the opening of “The Cove,” a 7,450-square-foot so-called “high limit slot machine area” with 150 machines including Lightning Cash, Dragon Cash, Dollar Storm, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy.
Now the casino is debuting “new pathways throughout the casino” — a remedy to the oddly designed floor plan of its predecessor casino Revel (born 2012, died 2014) — “so guests may easily navigate between games, including more than 250 new slot machines.”
Pools, cabanas, food, and entertainment upgrades also are on tap this year, according to casino officials.
More than $1 million, meanwhile, has been set aside for annual wage increases and bonuses, with another $50,000 going to several charities.
Local charity groups benefiting
Ocean will provide community gardens located at the Absecon Lighthouse and Uptown School Complex, organize two summer beach cleanups, and provide safety education and surf lessons for local children while donating essentials to the Covenant House of New Jersey to aid homeless young adults.
The Boys & Girls Club’s summer camps will receive funding for local youths to practice digital arts, conduct scientific experiments, and learn how to code.
Ocean’s net revenue for 2020, according to recently announced figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, was $194.8 million. That trailed Borgata ($380 million), Hard Rock ($277.1 million), and Tropicana ($205.6 million).
But in a year when the industry’s revenue declined by more than 40% due to long-lasting COVID shutdowns, Ocean posted the “least worst” numbers with a drop of a more modest 22.9%. And in terms of operating profit in 2020, Ocean led the city at $21.9 million.
Ocean also has been in the news since last summer due to a lawsuit filed by Borgata that accuses Ocean of “poaching” a dozen of its former casino executives in order to lure wealthy gamblers to the Boardwalk property via trade secrets known by the executives.
On Monday, a federal judge rebuffed all of Ocean’s efforts to have the case dismissed on a variety of grounds. One of the former Borgata executives is in the midst of an 11-month “timeout” imposed by the court before she can begin working for Ocean.
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