Atlantic City’s Ocean Casino Resort Appoints Top Executive

Written By David Danzis on February 7, 2022
Ocean Casino New GM

Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City is promoting Bill Callahan to general manager, the property’s ownership group announced Monday.

Callahan, a former high-level executive at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, has been the interim chief executive officer of Ocean Casino Resort since November. He stepped in to fill the vacancy left by former CEO Terry Glebocki, who resigned shortly before state gaming regulators approved a new ownership arrangement.

General manager is now the highest executive position at Ocean, the casino noted in Monday’s press release.

According to the Associated Press, Callahan has his sights set on overtaking his former employer as the top casino in Atlantic City.

“Our ultimate goal in the next few years is to become the No. 1 casino in the market,” Callahan reportedly told the AP. “This property is still in its infancy; there’s so much more that it can grow.”

Confidence in Callahan to lead Ocean Casino Resort

Bruce Dall, president of OCRM, the new ownership entity of Ocean, said he was “confident” in Callahan’s “ability to lead Ocean forward as we become the premier gaming destination in Atlantic City.”

Callahan joined Ocean Casino Resort in July 2020 as senior vice president of hospitality. He was promoted to executive vice president of hospitality and gaming one year later.

“Bill is a 25-year veteran of the gaming industry who has done a great job since joining the team at Ocean,” Dall said in a statement “He has been an integral part of enhancing the guest experience across the property, while helping to build the best hospitality team in the market.”

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Making waves in the Atlantic City casino market

Ocean Casino Resort is coming off its best financial year ever in 2021.

Ocean was third among Atlantic City’s nine casinos in land-based gambling revenue last year, behind only Borgata and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. Hard Rock and Ocean were the only two casinos in town to post higher in-person gambling revenues in 2021 than pre-pandemic 2019.

Through the first nine months of 2021, Ocean reported $62 million in gross operating profit and more than $251.8 million in total revenue.

Those figures are quite a turnaround for the property formally known as Revel Casino Hotel. Revel closed in 2014 after just two years in business.

After reopening as Ocean in June 2018, the property lost more than $23 million in its first seven months.

Upgrading, updating Ocean Casino Resort

New York-based hedge fund Luxor Capital Group assumed control of the $2.4 billion casino hotel in February 2019. The Wall Street firm installed Glebocki, who had decades of AC financial experience.

By the third quarter of 2019, Ocean was on the positive side of the ledger. The casino reported over $10 million in profits for the three-month period.

Callahan and a handful of other Borgata executives moved over to Ocean between 2019 and 2020. Several high-level casino players also migrated to Ocean, according to a settled lawsuit filed by Borgata.

In October 2021, the Detroit-based Ilitch Organization acquired up to 50% of Ocean for $175 million.

Much of Ocean’s success in the ultra-competitive Atlantic City market has occurred in the last 24 months. Luxor said it has reinvested over $250 million back into Ocean Casino Resort since 2019.

Among the capital improvements currently underway is the long-awaited completion of nearly 12 floors of unfinished hotel rooms. Ocean anticipates that the project will add another 460 rooms and suites to its existing 1,399.

Also in the works is a new $4 million sports betting lounge, as first reported on PlayNJ.

Lead image provided by Ocean Casino Resort 

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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting and online gambling. David lives in Mays Landing with his wife and two children. When not on the beach, a golf course, or snowboarding, David enjoys watching his beloved New York sports teams — Yankees, Jets, Rangers and Knicks.

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