Ocean Casino Promotes Bill Callahan, as Atlantic City Resort Begins Next Chapter

Posted on: February 7, 2022, 09:48h. 

Last updated on: February 7, 2022, 12:13h.

Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City has a new boss. The Boardwalk property announced today that interim CEO William “Bill” Callahan, effective immediately, is assuming the new role of general manager.

Ocean Casino Resort Atlantic City Bill Callahan
Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, seen above. The New Jersey casino has a new top official in gaming industry veteran Bill Callahan. (Image: Press of Atlantic City)

Callahan has been at Ocean for less than two years but brings a wealth of knowledge regarding the Atlantic City gaming market. Prior to arriving at the $2.4 billion integrated resort that opened as Revel in 2012, Callahan spent 17 years at the Borgata.

Following the surprise resignation of Ocean CEO Terry Glebocki last October, Callahan was elevated to interim CEO. He’s now the property’s general manager — the top executive capacity at the casino resort.

OCRM was formed last year after Ilitch Holdings and Luxor Capital announced a 50-50 partnership in the casino resort. Ilitch paid $175 million for the position to Luxor, which acquired Ocean from the previous owner Bruce Deifik in 2019 after he ran into financial difficulties. Deifik died in a car accident that same year.

Ilitch Holdings is the family investment firm of the late billionaire Mike Ilitch, who, with his wife, Marian, founded Little Caesars in 1959. The Ilitch family today owns the MLB Detroit Tigers, NHL Detroit Red Wings, and MotorCity Casino Hotel in downtown Detroit.

Wave of Progress

During his time at Borgata, Bill Callahan established a long Rolodex of VIP high rollers who frequent New Jersey’s casino town.

When he left for Ocean Casino Resort in July of 2020, Borgata operator MGM Resorts filed a lawsuit against its competitor on grounds that the casino was poaching its executive talent and stealing trade secrets. After nearly a year of litigation, MGM and Ocean settled the lawsuit in May of 2021.

Ocean officials say the resort is fresh off its best operating year since its opening in the summer of 2018.

The property’s casino floor won $342.69 million off of gamblers in 2021, a 60 percent surge in 2020. Ocean Casino reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $306.8 million on its brick-and-mortar floor. The remaining revenue came from iGaming, which totaled just shy of $16 million, and its William Hill Sportsbook accounting for $19.6 million.

Big Shoes to Fill

Terry Glebocki’s exit from Ocean was a devastating blow to the casino resort. Glebocki was credited with turning around the Boardwalk casino, which struggled financially prior to her arrival in late 2019.

Ocean Casino reported a net operating loss of $2.5 million through three quarters in 2019. Under her leadership, the resort quickly turned profitable. Despite the arrival of the coronavirus and a global pandemic, Ocean managed to post an operating profit of $21.8 million in 2020 — the best of the nine Atlantic City casinos.

Ocean Casino reported an operating profit of $62 million through three quarters of 2021. Data for the fourth quarter has not yet been revealed.