Bally’s will play to its strengths to avoid past igaming mistakes

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Bally’s Corporation has promised its investors that the company will “play to our strengths” when it comes to its North American interactive division to avoid past mistakes.

Speaking on the operator’s latest earnings call following its fourth quarter financial results, current President of Interactive and incoming CEO Robeson Reeves pledged that the company is “in it for the absolute long haul” and that they’re going to take a “smart approach” to igaming.

The company’s North American interactive division products include the online sportsbook Bally Bet, the online casino platform Bally Casino, and the daily fantasy sports platform Monkey Knife Fight.

Last November, Bally’s initiated a strategic review of its interactive division, which resulted in 15 per cent of its payroll being cut and the implementation of cost-cutting measures.

For 2022, Bally’s reported a net loss for the division of $428m, while it expects these losses to improve to between $40m and $50m in 2023, before hitting profitability in 2024.

When questioned further about this profitability target and how Bally’s will get there, Reeves – who will be replacing the outgoing CEO Lee Fenton at the end of Q1 2023 – stated that the company will play to their strengths and look into leasing to do it in the most profitable way.

The incoming CEO said: “We’ve got some real bright spots in icasino. So, Bally’s icasino in New Jersey, a perfect example for us, launched just over 12 months ago. 

“It is now at $4m of GGR per month. It continues to grow and it will continue to grow beyond that. We are live in Ontario. We’re seeing very similar trends there, and we’ll be live in Pennsylvania in the half. So we play to our strengths in icasino, but we’re in it for the absolute long haul, but we’re not going to make the same mistakes we made previously.

“We’re looking at options to do it in the most profitable way. We are considering lease options because we don’t think you need to own now. What’s great about that is all the costs are directly correlated with revenues.

“We’re going to take a very smart approach and we’re going to play to our strengths and we know that we are fantastic in icasino. Everything you can see in our business shows that.”

Bally’s Casinos in Chicago and New York

Bally’s also provided updates on its casino projects in both Chicago and New York.

After receiving regulatory approval from the Illinois Gaming Commission and the local council, construction of the $1.6bn Chicago casino can now begin, with a temporary location on track to open this summer. The permanent casino is expected to open in 2026.

Bally’s is also one of several companies that have placed a bid for one of the three casino licenses on offer from the New York State Gaming Commission in the Empire State.

According to reports, the operator has plans to build a resort on the site of the current Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point golf course in the Bronx.

Bally’s reached an agreement with the Trump Organization last December to control 17 of the 192-acre golf course location for its new casino project estimated to cost $2.5bn.

The operator also faces competition from the likes of Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts amongst others for one of the three New York licenses.

George Papanier, President of Retail, explained during the earnings call: “It is a public process that we’re participating in the RFA process. Obviously, we see a huge potential in that market. 

“The process is moving relatively quickly and we could put together a great bid, especially just coming off of the Chicago bid. We’re looking currently at a two-site approach, which worked well for us in Chicago.

“So it’s something that we may be duplicating in this process. But we’re not going to get into any specific strategy at this point in time, but obviously, we see the potential of the market.”