Hard Rock Atlantic City President Joe Lupo has been appointed the new leader of the Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ).
Following Terry Glebocki’s surprise resignation last month as CEO of Ocean Casino Resort and her role as CANJ president, the trade group that represents Atlantic City’s nine casinos in the Trenton capital has selected Lupo to lead the organization forward.
“I am prepared to lead the CANJ forward as we work to reinvigorate Atlantic City,” Lupo said in a statement. “Our industry is invested in this community, and we believe with continued hard work and determination, Atlantic City’s best days lie ahead.”
Lupo has 35 years of experience in the US gaming industry. Prior to his arrival at Hard Rock in Atlantic City, the gaming executive served Hard Rock International as the president of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa.
Lupo also previously worked for MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming. The Hard Rock AC boss thanked his predecessor for her leadership during a most difficult time.
“Terry did a great job as a leader and we are grateful for her meaningful contributions to the industry,” he declared.
The CANJ advocates on behalf of the Atlantic City casino industry “by supporting legislation and initiatives that advance the ongoing revitalization of Atlantic City into a world-class destination.”
COVID-19 is certainly not over, and the fiscal health of Atlantic City casinos remain in peril. Gross operating profits for the nine casinos tumbled 80 percent in 2020 to just $117.5 million. Their collective net revenue dropped 40 percent to $1.86 billion.
Gross operating profit, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) explains, reflects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, affiliate charges, and other miscellaneous expenses as reflected on each casino licensees’ income statement. It is a widely-accepted measure of profitability in the Atlantic City gaming industry.
One issue Lupo might steer the CANJ towards is revising how casino revenues are reported to the DGE. Currently, gross gaming revenue (GGR) from iGaming and online sports betting is grouped into an Atlantic City casino’s total win.
Lupo points to the fact that much of the iGaming and online sports betting income is shared with a casino’s third-party interactive suppliers, and therefore reduces its overall bottom line.
“We need to see the city revitalized, and it’s not going to happen when the media is reporting increases when they add in online revenue that is going to third-party companies that don’t have any stake in the Atlantic City game,” Lupo said earlier this year.
Why the numbers are not reported with more transparency, I’ll never know,” Lupo clarified to Casino.org in July.
Lupo’s appointment as CANJ president came the same day New Jersey votes rejected an effort by the industry to expand sports gambling in the state.
Yesterday, New Jersey voters said sports betting on college athletics in the state should remain off limits. Sportsbooks will also remain prohibited from offering odds on college sports taking place elsewhere across the country if the competition involves a New Jersey university.
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