ATLANTIC CITY - Atlantic City casinos' gross operating profits fell more than 21 percent last year, further proof that the recession and slots parlors in neighboring states continue to hurt the nation's second-largest gambling market.

The resort city's 11 casinos on Monday posted gross operating profits of $739.5 million in 2009 compared with $940.9 million in 2008.

Gross operating profit rose only at the Borgata, to $204.4 million, up 1.6 percent.

Gross operating profit is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and other charges. It is a widely accepted measure of profitability in the gambling industry.

Occupancy in the casino hotels fell to 82.5 percent last year from 87.4 percent in 2008.