Hard Rock Atlantic City Distributes $10M in Employee Bonuses on Record Year

By | February 21, 2022

Hard Rock Atlantic City is sharing the wealth from the Boardwalk casino resort’s record operating year with its more than 2,400 workers.

Hard Rock Atlantic City casino worker New York
Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen speaks at Hard Rock Atlantic City on February 17, 2022. Workers at the New Jersey casino were afforded $10 million in bonuses on strong gaming revenue generated in 2021. (Image: AP)

Hard Rock International, owner and operator of the Atlantic City casino, held its annual employee town hall last week. On hand was Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen, who had the honor of informing team members that they’d be leaving with deeper pockets.

Following an unprecedented year that saw Hard Rock Atlantic City generate more than half of a billion dollars in gross gaming revenue (GGR), company executives announced robust bonuses for its union and non-union workers. Allen says Hard Rock’s Atlantic City gaming floor experienced substantial increases in coin-in and table game drop compared with 2019.

“We look at things differently here at Hard Rock and that’s been the root of our success,” Allen told a packed crowd inside Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena. “We want to focus on building companionship at work and creating a sense of family among our Hard Rock team members.

“This is what separates us and keeps us as industry leaders,” Allen concluded. In addition to the bonuses, Hard Rock gave away $50,000 in cash drawings and two lucky winners won new cars.

Hard Rock’s annual bonus budget for 2020 totaled $2 million.

$10M Disbursed

Allen and other Hard Rock Atlantic City executives, including President Joe Lupo, said the staff is receiving bonuses totaling more than $10 million.

With the employee count currently around 2,400 strong, the average bonus is approximately $4,100. Each worker’s check is dependent on their position and seniority.

Lupo said he couldn’t be prouder of his workforce. The casino won $431.1 million on its brick-and-mortar casino floor last year. That’s a 92 percent surge on pandemic-stricken 2020, but also 33 percent better than the $342 million the casino won in 2019.

Hard Rock also generated iGaming GGR of $67.3M and won $13.2 million from sports betting for a combined haul of nearly $511.7 million.

Hard Rock AC opened in June of 2018 after undergoing a more than $500 million renovation to transform the property into a rock ‘n’ roll destination. The casino was previously Trump Taj Mahal.

All Eyes on New York

Jim Allen’s trip to New Jersey included a stop in nearby New York City where he expressed Hard Rock’s intent to develop an integrated resort casino in the area. Allen revealed during an AP interview that the company has identified three potential locations for such a large-scale casino complex.

The downstate New York casinos pose great threats to Atlantic City. The casino beach town relies greatly on traffic from North Jersey and New York City.

Make no mistake, when these three casinos open in downstate New York, there’s going to be $1.5 billion to $2 billion in gaming revenue that is going to be created,” Allen stated. “The question is, how much of that is going to come from the Atlantic City market?”

Allen said Atlantic City has made progress in recent years following the closure of five casinos between 2014 and 2016. But, he added, “If I’m being brutally honest, we’re just nowhere near where we need to be.”

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