Posted: March 14, 2022, 1:26 a.m.
Last update: March 14, 2022, 2:04 a.m.
Ocean Casino Resort is nearing completion of its $75 million property upgrade. The Atlantic City Boardwalk property unveiled this week that its latest component of the project’s revamp is a 12,000 square foot sports betting site called The Gallery Bar, Book & Games.
According to Ocean representatives, The Gallery is a 100-foot elevated bar and lounge that features nearly 60 seats with a 140-foot-wide LED wall. The space will include a small complement of slot machines and table games ideal for social gatherings, such as roulette and blackjack. The casino is spending $5 million on the site.
This new location will enhance the customer experience by providing an unbeatable atmosphere right in the heart of the casino,” said Ocean Casino Resort General Manager Bill Callahan.
The Gallery Bar, Book & Games is the first major renovation under Callahan’s management. He was promoted to manager of the casino last month. The new space is expected to open this summer.
Changing ocean tides
Ocean Casino Resort announced a new ownership structure last year. Detroit-based Ilitch Holdings, which owns pizza chain Little Caesars, as well as the MLB Detroit Tigers and NHL Red Wings, now controls a 50% stake in the Atlantic City casino.
Ilitch distributed $175 million for the 50-50 position alongside Luxor Capital, which acquired its stake through bankruptcy. Ocean opened as Revel in 2012 at a cost of $2.4 billion.
Ilitch, which also owns and operates the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit, announced alongside its first casino investment outside of Detroit that Ocean will spend $75 million to update the destination.
The budget includes finishing 12 floors of guest rooms that were never completed. Ocean says the upgrades will bring 460 additional rooms and suites online.
With new owners, new rooms and suites, new high-limit VIP facilities and a new sportsbook, Ocean is updating its gastronomic attractions. The casino announced in December the addition of Serendipity3.
The dessert restaurant made famous by John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale in the 2001 romantic comedy “Serendipity” replaces the old Café 500 near Ovation Hall. The joint known for its “Frrrozen Hot Chocolate” is set to open this spring.
Ocean Casino continues to grow its position in the Atlantic City gaming industry. The casino ranked third out of nine properties last year in terms of gross gaming revenue (GGR) and net revenue. Ocean only followed Borgata and Hard Rock in both cases.
But when it comes to gross operating profit — which is a widely accepted measure of profitability in the Atlantic City gaming industry — Ocean ranked fifth. In the nine months of 2021 (fourth quarter data has yet to be released), Ocean reported gross operating profit of $62 million.
MGM Resorts’ Borgata more than doubled that profit figure to $126.6 million. Hard Rock reported earnings of $81 million, Tropicana $92.3 million and Harrah’s $78.3 million.
Ocean’s capital expenditures were included in the casino’s net income. The station is betting big on paying investments in 2022 and the years to come.
“Ocean is dedicated to being the premier gaming destination in the Atlantic City market,” Callahan concluded.