Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. A slew of financial reports form the backbone of our latest headline reflection, with Caesars, Bally’s and Rush Street all featured, with M&A actions from Churchill Downs and Boyd Gaming and a Star Entertainment update also featured.
Churchill Downs signalled “a significant moment in the evolution” of the company after closing the $2.75bn purchase of substantially all of the assets of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment.
The acquisition, which was first detailed in February of this year, includes all of P2E’s assets and operations in Virginia, New York and Sioux City, Iowa.
Completion followed receipt of customary licensing approvals from the Virginia Racing Commission, New York State Gaming Commission and Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
“Today marks a significant moment in the evolution of Churchill Downs Incorporated,” noted Bill Carstanjen, Chief Executive Officer of CDI.
Caesars Entertainment confirmed that the potential divestment of a Las Vegas asset is no longer a part of company plans after the group backtracked on long-mooted plans.
One year earlier the group noted that such a sale formed part of a larger strategy to reduce the company’s debt load, however, during a Q3 earnings call, and following further talk earlier this year, Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars, confirmed that this is no longer in the works.
Despite this, expansion on both the retail and digital front formed a key component of the third quarter breakdown, with Anthony Carano, President and COO, delving into the group’s capital update program.
Renovations in Atlantic City are expected to be finalised during H1 2023, with Louisiana’s Horseshoe Lake Charles, which sees Isle of Capri come ashore, and an expanded casino offering in Pompano, Florida, set to be showcased in December.
Elsewhere, Caesars expects to open temporary casinos in both Danville, Virginia, and Columbus, Nebraska, by the midpoint of next year, with New Orleans property improvements “progressing well”.
With Texan prospects once again touched upon, Caesars also offered a little more on an expected “very competitive process” in pursuing a downstate casino licence in New York alongside its SL Green partner.
Bally’s is to commence an in-house evaluation of loss making North American interactive businesses as the operator looks to hone in on “faster paths to profitability”.
This refocussed effort was disclosed during a third quarter performance update that saw revenue and AEBITDA increases be reported alongside a slight rise in net income.
The former of these financial reporting segments saw the enlarged group report a 83.7 per cent increase year-on-year to $578.24m (2021: $314.77m), which came against a tough macroeconomic environment and foreign exchange headwinds.
Three subsidiaries of Australia’s Star Entertainment were officially issued with show cause notices in relation to last month’s much publicised casino licence unsuitability findings.
Shannon Fentiman, Queensland Attorney General and Minister, confirmed the issue to the group, which boasts two properties in the state, with it being believed that “grounds have arisen for taking disciplinary action against The Star”.
These are rooted in the findings of an external review into the company that was undertaken by Robert Gotterson, which saw the firm deemed unsuitable to hold a casino licence within Queensland in developments that mirrored those that had already been encountered further south in New South Wales.
Gotterson found that the company’s business, whose network includes casinos in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, with the licence of the former to be transferred to a near A$4bn development upon completion next year, was operated “in a way that is inconsistent with the achievement of the objectives of the Casino Control Act 1982”.
These show cause notices set out the potential disciplinary actions which may be taken, which range from taking no further disciplinary action to a letter of censure, written directions, a penalty of up to A$100m and licence cancellation or suspension.
Boyd Gaming elaborated on the “attractive growth opportunity” presented by igaming across the US after the group closed its $170m Pala Interactive purchase.
The acquisition, which was first announced in March 2022, saw the operator secure igaming technology that includes a player management system; casino, social casino and poker platforms, along with integrated sports and a suite of managed services.
“Online casino gaming is an attractive growth opportunity for our company, and the acquisition of Pala Interactive provides us with the technology, products and expertise to create a profitable regional online casino business,” explained Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming.
PENN Entertainment heaped praise on an omnichannel strategy that “continues to drive growth” as well as strong year-on-year interactive gains after the company reported a Q3 that represented “another solid quarter”.
Set against an uncertain economic environment, Jay Snowden, Chief Executive Officer and President, cited a “successful” Kansas retail and online sports betting launch and early Ontarian success as Q3 high points.
The former, said Snowden, “underscores the advantage of our leading omnichannel strategy,” with the Canadian province said to be “benefitting from theScore Bet’s seamless transition to our own fully-integrated, proprietary tech stack”.
Coming almost a month after the company outlined a four-part $850m growth project that spans Illinois, Nevada and Ohio, PENN reported Q3 revenue of $1.62bn, up 7.5 per cent YoY from $1.51bn.
Rush Street Interactive cited currency fluctuations impacting international revenue as a key reason in lowering 2022 revenue expectations, as the group CEO Richard Schwartz reflected on the “fantastic progress” made towards profitability through Q3.
This aforementioned ambition has long targeted reaching this EBITDA target by the second half of 2023, which, as Schwartz reaffirmed, will be achieved through “a combination of solid revenue growth, disciplined marketing spend, improving gross margins and modest growth in our corporate G&A costs”.
An analysis of key growth markets offered during a third quarter earnings call followed RSI reporting a 20 per cent revenue increase through Q3 to $148m (2021: $122.9m).
Despite this, net loss and AEBITDA loss tracked the reverse after closing the period at $22.7m (2021: $18.9m) and $12.5m (2021: $12.2m), respectively.
LeoVegas witnessed a series of struggles through the year’s third quarter, with revenue, profit and earnings all taking a hit as the operator’s acquisition by MGM Resorts looms closer still.
The former of these reporting segments witnessed a slight one per cent decline to €98.7m (2021: €99.4m), as net profit of €4.12m one year earlier swung to a loss of $10.65m and adjusted EBITDA dropped 62.13 per cent to €7m (2021: €11.51m).
Delving into group revenue on a geographic basis, the Nordics posted a 20 per cent year-on-year increase, with “another good quarter” in Sweden driven by “all-time highs” for the Expekt brand.
However, the online gambling operator noted that Finland “declined substantially”, which is aligned to a change in legislation from the beginning of the year.
An 18 per cent drop compared to the corresponding period one year earlier was evidenced across the rest of Europe segment, where Germany “continued to negatively impact the region’s sales” while the Netherlands also reportedly slowed development. Elsewhere, the rest of the world also detailed a drop, this time of ten per cent.