Bally’s focused on COVID rebound after ‘truly remarkable’ year

Bally’s Corporation expects to benefit “from a strong rebound in demand,” after reflecting on a “truly remarkable” year which saw the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hamper the group’s performance.

The former Twin River Worldwide Holdings, which officially rebranded in November 2020, ramped-up its roster of casino resort venues significantly during the course of the past year.

However, the group pinpoints its acquisition of Bet.Works, as well as a strategic partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group, as being integral facets to a successful exit from the past year’s struggles.

George Papanier, president and CEO of Bally’s, explained: “Without question, the highlights of the fourth quarter were our pending acquisition of Bet.Works, which will drive development of our interactive offerings, as well as our strategic media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group, which we expect will make Bally’s a common name in sports fans’ households across the US. 

“Additionally, we are pleased to have closed on our previously announced acquisitions of Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino and the Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport, which represent valuable additions and expanded footprint to our foundational brick-and-mortar portfolio. 

“We also recently debuted our FanDuel Sportsbook inside Bally’s Atlantic City, which represents the first of several planned capital improvement projects at the property.”

Bally’s reported fourth quarter revenue of $118m, a 9.4 per cent drop year-on-year from $130.4m, with negative impacts of the pandemic and mandated closure of facilities partially offset by incremental revenues from its recent acquisitions.

Net income came in at $20.2m, an increase of 51.4 per cent from $13.3m, which is aligned to purchase gains of $63.9m, recorded on the company’s Q4 acquisitions of Bally’s Atlantic City and Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport, coupled with a $50.9m tax benefit.

Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of the year came in at $21.1m, representing a decrease of 47.6 per cent from $40.2m recorded a year earlier. 

On a full year basis, revenue fell 28 per cent to $372.7m (2019: $523.5m), net loss closed at $5.4m from 2019’s income of $55.1m, and adjusted EBITDA sank 57.9 per cent to $70.4m from $167.1m.

Papanier continued: “2020 was a truly remarkable year for Bally’s. Amid the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to systematically execute our strategic growth and development initiatives. 

“Though fourth quarter results were impacted by various regional capacity and health limitations, most notably in Rhode Island, we expect to benefit from a strong rebound in demand across our properties, as well as the operational efficiencies and strong margin improvements that we have seen as a continuing trend since reopening from the pandemic. 

“In fact, market indications and preliminary results show markedly stronger consumer demand in January and February.”