Judge Orders Ex-Borgata Executive to Return Mobile Phone

Borgata Hotel-Casino
Borgata Casino got a shot in the arm from Lady Justice last Thursday as a federal judge in Nevada ordered a former Borgata casino executive, among others, to return a company-issued mobile phone which contained valuable information on Borgata’s top players and highest rollers.

Aside from instructing the former Borgata exec to return the cell phone, U.S. judge Gloria Navarro also issued a temporary restraining order preventing the two former executives who left Borgata this summer to work for the Ocean Casino Resort from contacting any past, present, or prospective clients of the Borgata Casino. Navarro also ordered the two former Borgata executives not to share trade secrets or confidential information to their new employers.

Poaching Accusation

However, the judge did not order the two executives removed from their jobs at Ocean Casino despite violating unfair competition laws and agreements. In not terminating the two, Navarro reasoned that the plaintiff did not present evidence that proved Ocean knew that the two were using Borgata trade secrets in their current employment.

Last month, Borgata Casino accused Ocean Casino of “poaching” six former executives in what it called an “attempt to cripple “ it by using trade secrets and sensitive information about its top clients. Borgata proceeded to filing a lawsuit after it asserted that the hiring of their former officers violated New Jersey’s unfair competition laws.

Attempt To Cripple Borgata

The case centered on William Callahan and Kelly Ashman Burke, who worked with Borgata’s top clients, and who were recently hired by Ocean Casino. Borgata took exception of Callahan for his failure to return a company-issued cell phone which was said to contain top secret information regarding Borgata’s high-rollers. Borgata claimed that Callahan refused to return the phone even after he had resigned from his post at their casino.

Callahan worked with Borgata’s highest-level customers who spent around $1.5M-$4M per visit. Borgata claimed that these clients were worth a collective $25M per year and Ocean was “crippling” their business using the information that Callahan took from Borgata using his cell phone. The case was filed in Nevada because MGM Resorts International, Borgata’s parent company, is located there.

Borgata Casino Files Lawsuit Against Ocean Casino

Borgata Hotel-Casino

Atlantic City’s top casino has filed a lawsuit against one of its competitors, claiming that the rival hired half-a-dozen of its former Marketing Executives in an effort to steal trade secrets.

The case was filed on Thursday by MGM Resort International’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa against Ocean Casino after the latter allegedly poached former Borgata executives in an attempt “to cripple” it by using details of its most profitable customers. According to Borgata, Ocean Casino violated unfair competition laws and agreements that prohibit at least two of the highest ranking executives from working for a competitor for a year after leaving.

High-Roller Customer Data

At the center of the complaint is former Borgata exec William Callahan who now works for Ocean Casino. It is alleged that Callahan has retained his Borgata-issued phone which contains valuable information about Borgata costumers. The lawsuit states that Callahan has refused to return the phone as recently as Monday this week.

Callahan was in charge of Borgata’s high-roller customers. These were patrons who spent $1.5M to $4M per visit and who would be flown in and out of the casino’s events using Borgata’s private jet. According to Borgata, these individuals were worth at least $25M per year to the company.

Aside from Callahan, Borgata also mentioned the name of former executive Kelly Ashman Burke in the document. The plaintiff also said that four other ex-marketing personnel have been hired by Ocean Casino in an attempt to “cripple” Borgata’s casino operations in Atlantic City.

Direct and Primary Competitor

The Borgata leads the nine-casino market in the area but in the lawsuit, it asserts that Ocean City is a direct and primary competitor for high-level customers in Atlantic City. Interestingly, Ocean Casino ranks just sixth among the nine Atlantic City casinos in terms of total revenues, making just one-thirds of what Borgata has raked in over the period.

The Ocean City Casino is the former Revel Casino which was shut down in 2014. The Revel operated for over two years and never came close to making a profit. But the casino reopened in 2018 under a new name and ownership and it has improved its ranking in the market.

Last month , Ocean Casino ranked second in Atlantic City casino win with its revenue of $23.6M a 23.1% increase against its July 2019 figures. Ocean saw nine straight months of slot pay growth before the coronavirus pandemic hit last March. Borgata was closed for the most part of July but in terms of income, it still makes three times more than any of its competitor.

Atlantic City Celebrates Best Casino Revenue for February Since 2011

Atlantic City Sign on Casino BuildingLast month, Atlantic City’s nine casinos brought in a whopping $275.1 million in total gaming revenue, an 18.4% over last February’s numbers. These figures were gathered from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Atlantic City continues on its astonishing 21 consecutive reporting period hot streak of monthly revenue increases. The growth period started nearly two years ago in June when Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort reopened their doors.

“Atlantic City reported strong results in February, which were aided by the calendar with its rare fifth Saturday,” said James Plousis, Casino Control Commission Chairman. “Revenue from slots, table games, internet wagering and sports wagering all grew. Internet wagering results were prominent, and the sports wagering handle already surpassed $1 billion for the year. These gaming options are providing important revenue streams while broadening the industry’s appeal.”

The Strongest February in Nearly a Decade

Last month’s results were the strongest for February in Atlantic City since 2011. In 2011, 11 casinos were in full swing, as compared to the nine currently operating in today’s Atlantic City.

According to Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton University, says the milder weather and efforts of city businesses to feature more on-site resort entertainment are among the biggest factors in increased visitation and revenue.

“The wintry weather that likely suppressed visitation, and in-turn land-based gaming revenues, in past years was not as much a factor in February 2020,” Pandit said. “The especially mild weather, and efforts by city businesses to bring more shoulder season entertainment to the resort, has led to increases in visitation.”

Ocean Casino Reports Largest Monthly Increase

Ocean casino saw the largest monthly revenue increase in February of the city’s nine properties. The resort took home $20.77 million in casino win, that’s a 51% increase from February 2019’s numbers.

This time last year, Ocean was changing ownership and leadership.

Ocean’s CEO, Terry Glebocki, said the second month of the year was an “incredibly strong month for the property” and said that slot business was up an incredible 88%.

Glebocki, the only woman chief executive officer of an Atlantic City casino, was officially named CEO last December. She worked hard to listen to AC customers’ concerns and address their needs.

“The property had a history of being tone-deaf to most A.C. customers and we’ve overcome that,” Glebocki said. “We were voted No. 1 casino in A.C. (in 2019 by Atlantic City Press) for best rooms, best comps and best players clubs. That’s because of what we stand for, giving people a fair deal.”

Ocean recently revamped their property, including revitalizing their dining options, creating a convenient new elevator bank that offers direct access from the hotel level to the casino level, and opening up their new Exhale Spa + Bathhouse, which was voted the top spa in New Jersey by Spas of America.

Online Gambling is a Safeguard for Coronavirus

While Atlantic City continues to see an uptick in their casino revenue, property owners are well aware of the toll COVID-19 could cause on the gaming industry, and how the impact could reach their shores.

Their strategy is to use online betting as a viable safeguard, should on-site gambling get impacted negatively.

The great news is that online betting is also up in the state and experienced a boost in February as well. Internet gaming revenue for February was $52 million, an increase of 63.7% over this time last year.

“Online casinos and sportsbooks should help buoy their land-based casino counterparts in Atlantic City should the coronavirus impact casino operations,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com. “The Golden Nugget’s online casino already generates more revenue than its retail casino, and others have been closing the gap. That online revenue stream could prove vitally important in the coming months.”

Should the situation with the coronavirus outbreak get worse, online betting will be looked to more than ever as a buffer to get the industry through trying times.

“New Jersey’s year-over-year gains remained impressive in February, but we are in uncharted territory now,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com. “Obviously there are bigger concerns with coronavirus, but the NBA is a major revenue driver for New Jersey’s sportsbooks. So the suspension of the season, in addition to suspensions of other sports, will undoubtedly have a significant effect.”

Stay tuned to see if casino gaming revenue continues on its upward trajectory in Atlantic City, or if New Jersey will get impacted by the coronavirus in the coming month.

Ocean Resort CEO Reflects on Property’s Progress and Future Plans

Ocean Resort Casino, Atlantic CityLong before it was Ocean Resort Casino, the property was known as Revel, and it had a reputation of being the white elephant of the Atlantic City boardwalk. But why? According to Atlantic City and Philadelphia developer and nearby Showboat Casino owner, Bart Blatstein, it’s the “worst-designed building” he’s ever seen.

“There are so many reasons it failed. How can you have a casino on the Boardwalk and not be able to enter it from there?” questioned Blatstein.

It cost $2.4 billion to build the oddly designed casino, which features a hotel lobby on the 11th floor and casino on the sixth floor. When it finally shut its doors in September 2014, investors weren’t flocking to buy it.

Finally, in January 2018, AC Ocean Walk took a leap of faith and bought the property for a cool $200 million, renaming it Ocean Resort Casino.

Considering its difficult rise to claim Atlantic City acceptance and its inherent architectural issues, it made the revival process a difficult one, but one Ocean Resort CEO Terry Glebocki was willing to fight for.

“The property had a history of being tone deaf to most A.C. customers and we’ve overcome that,” Glebocki said. “We were voted No. 1 casino in A.C. (in 2019 by Atlantic City Press) for best rooms, best comps and best players clubs. That’s because of what we stand for, giving people a fair deal.”

Ocean Revamps their Property

Because of the property’s historical reluctance to prioritize the guest experience, Glebocki made sure to find ways to give guests what they actually want by being mindful of details and what the property has to uniquely offer that you can’t get elsewhere in Atlantic City.

Since the property reopened in June 2018, major forward changes have been made. For one, the current vibe is a lot hipper, and more relaxed. It’s also been transformed into a family-friendly resort.

She also figured out a way to adapt to the property’s unconventional architecture, making for a more seamless transition for guests to get from the hotel lobby to the casino floor, and vice versa.

“Our new elevator bank offers direct access from the hotel level to the casino level, two new elevators now lead guests from the hotel lobby to the casino floor. Customers previously had to take an escalator or elevator that was not near the hotel tower.

Glebocki also diversified the resort’s available dining options, offering up casual restaurants alongside the number of upscale restaurants to balance the mix, giving their variety of guests more freedom to choose what they can eat on-site.

The property has also significantly increased event bookings at their Ovations Hall, with 42 dates booked in 2019, and their rentable beachfront space, which has been a popular space for summer events.

The real winning addition to the property, however, is their Exhale Spa + Bathhouse, being touted as a “tranquil oasis.” According to Glebocki, “Exhale was recently voted the top spa in New Jersey by Spas of America. What sets us apart from our competition is our Turkish style co-ed bathhouse and Himalayan Salt Grotto.”

Plans for the Property in 2020

Atlantic City’s trailblazing CEO will be planning more changes for the property in 2020:

“We will be enhancing and adding new gaming experiences for our guests,” Glebocki said. “We are planning a major investment in a new high-limit slot experience that will position Ocean as a premier gaming destination in Atlantic City. We are also in conversations with our business partners in providing even more amenities and services that will wow our guests.”

About Terry Glebocki

Glebocki is a Lehigh University alum who served as vice president of finance for a few of Donald Trump’s Atlantic City casinos for 23 years. She served in the same capacity at Revel, beginning in 2007, before being promoted to chief financial officer of the company five years later in 2013.

In February 2019, she was appointed as Ocean’s chief financial officer. Last August, she served as the interim CEO after the property’s previous CEO, Eric Matejevich, stepped down. In December, she was named the official CEO of Ocean Resort Casino.

Glebocki is currently the only woman chief executive officer of an Atlantic City casino.

Atlantic City’s Ocean Casino is Making a Serious Comeback

Atlantic City is now considered one of the premier destinations in the United States. For years, Ocean Casino has been considered one of the worst gambling venues in the city. Recently, however, this hotel-casino has been posting some impressive revenue figures.

View Over Atlantic City

Owners of this venue are insisting that they’re not going anywhere. Today, we’re going to take a quick look into Ocean Casino’s recent revenue surge. Let’s get into it!

Atlantic City Continues to Bring in Major Revenue

About a year ago, Atlantic City was struggling to bring in any visitors. The recession had taken a major toll on this city and many of the top casinos here were forced to close down. Some felt that the city’s gambling industry was permanently destroyed.

Fortunately, this was not the case. Over the past decade, this city has slowly recovered. There are now many casinos here, most of which are bringing in massive revenue figures every single month. Some attribute this recovery to the city’s legalization of sports betting.

New Jersey was instrumental in getting PASPA struck down. It was the first state aside from Nevada to make sports betting legal. This form of gambling has become extremely popular here and attracts many visitors from states such as New York and Massachusetts.

For almost all of 2019, gambling revenue has increased in this city. Some of these casinos have managed to stand out from the rest of the pack. The Borgata Hotel & Casino, in particular, brings in millions more than any other gambling venue every single month.

Ocean Casino is consistently one of the lowest-earnings gambling venues in Atlantic City. Recently, it’s begun to make a comeback.

Ocean Casino Beings to Generate More Revenue

As we just mentioned, Ocean Casino is one of Atlantic City’s poorest-performing gambling venues. Almost every single month, this hotel-casino makes less than all others in the city. Over the past three months, however, it’s experienced a surge in gambling revenue. Owners are claiming that it’s a trend that will continue.

This establishment has seen double-digit revenue increases in July, August, and September. It appears that October’s revenue increased massively as well. Some are beginning to wonder if this venue will become one of Atlantic City’s next major casino resorts.

Mike Donovan, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Ocean Casino, commented on these revenue figures to the media this week.

“If you look at our numbers, they speak for themselves,” he said. “We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and build on the success that we’ve had this year. Ocean is going to be here for a long time.”

It’s amazing news for owners of this casino. There’s a lot to be excited about.

This year, Atlantic City and Las Vegas have been competing over sports betting revenue. How’s this battle playing out?

Atlantic City Now Considered Sports Betting Capital of the US

Sports betting has been legal in New Jersey for more than a year. Today, every casino in this state offers sports betting odds. These casinos also operate online casinos which help to generate a huge amount of money every single month.

This summer, New Jersey surpassed Las Vegas’ sports betting revenue. It was a historic moment, leading many to wonder what the future of the US gambling industry would look like.

Some of the top gambling analysts in the country now believe Atlantic City to be the US sports betting capital. That’s tough to argue against, as revenue here continues to increase almost every single month. Even Ocean Casino is generating serious money from its sports gambling operations.

Hope is that sports betting helps to keep Ocean Casino’s operations up and running. It’s a fantastic casino and one that’s working hard to compete with the city’s big dogs.

Stay tuned for more Atlantic City gambling news over the next few weeks!