Every week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. As English Premier Clubs voluntarily banned front-of-shirt sponsorship, New Jersey saw operating profits fall, plans were announced for the first Japanese casino and 888 published damning FY2022 results.
In unison, English Premier League clubs have agreed to voluntarily withdraw gambling sponsorship from the front of their matchday shirts, coming into effect at the end of the 2025/26 football season.
The withdrawal of front-of-shirt gambling sponsorship means the Premier League has become the first sports league in the UK to undergo such an action voluntarily to reduce gambling advertising.
Currently, eight teams in the Premier League – Bournemouth, Brentford, Everton, Fulham, Leeds United, Newcastle, Southampton and West Ham – have a gambling company as their front-of-shirt sponsor and will have to change to comply with the new rule.
While the UK’s Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer stated that she welcomed the decision, these existing front-of-shirt sponsorship deals can still be honoured until the end of the 2025/26 season and new deals can be agreed to so long as they don’t go past the set deadline.
Plans for Japan’s first casino establishment have been given the nod, with a ¥1.8tn ($13.5bn) resort in the Western city of Osaka set to open its doors in 2029.
The casino build is expected to reel in ¥520bn of revenue annually, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated that the resort will help the area grow economically following the city’s hosting of the 2025 World Expo in Osaka Bay.
US casino operator MGM Resorts International and local partner Orix Corp are leading the Osaka project and will each have a 40 per cent stake ownership, with the remaining 20 per cent being held by another 20 companies according to a local government document.
The country had previously banned casinos and other forms of private gambling, but the resort will be the first casino property built since an integrated resort law was introduced in 2018, allowing casino games at officially approved establishments.
888 revealed a significant net loss after tax of over £120m when publishing its FY2022 financial results.
While the operator continues a search for its new CEO, 888 attributed “increased financing costs from the debt on acquisition of William Hill” in July 2022 to the loss.
Although results saw an upward trend in revenue of 74 per cent to £1.2bn, this figure considers the consolidation of William Hill revenues across H2 2022 and 888 revealed losses on a pro forma basis, with revenue falling three per cent.
Losses in international business, online gaming revenue and sports book revenue also contributed to the operator’s significant net loss in profit after tax.
Overall, 888 reported a net loss in profit before tax for 2022 of £120.6m (2021: net profit £50m) with profits falling to £64.2m on an adjusted basis (2021: £82.6m). The group also declared a net debt of £1.73bn.
New Jersey casinos are struggling to return to pre-pandemic levels as the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement declared that operating profits had fallen in 2022.
Publishing its fourth quarter and financial year 2022 results, the Garden State’s nine casino establishments were revealed to have struggled in both periods overall as operating profits fell by 31.6 per cent to $119.3m for Q4 (2021: $174.5m) and by 4.6 per cent for the full year to $731.3m (2021: $766.9m).
Hard Rock, Ocean Resort and Bally’s AC were the only casinos in New Jersey that saw operating profits improve in 2022 compared to the year prior. Hard Rock rose by 19.8 per cent to $128m (2021: $106.8m) while Ocean improved by 5.5 per cent to $96.2m (2021: $91.3m).
Although Bally’s had the biggest increase in operating cost at 85.7 per cent, it still came in at a loss of $1.9m (2021: $13.2m). Bally’s was joined in losses by Resorts Casino, Borgata, Harrah’s, Tropicana, Caesars and Golden Nugget, which all saw operating profits decline.
Detroit’s casinos concluded the first quarter of 2023 achieving a slight uptick in aggregate revenue, with only one location reporting a decline in revenue compared to the previous year.
Reporting the March and Q1 figures, the Michigan Gaming Control Board declared a total March revenue for the state’s three casinos of $119.2m, down compared to March 2021’s $122.8m.
MGM Grand Detroit earned the biggest revenue share with 46 per cent, followed by Motor City Casino with 30 per cent and Hollywood Casino at Greektown with 24 per cent.
For Q1, Detroit’s casinos declared a 3.4 per cent YoY improvement in revenue to $326.2m (2021: $315.5m), with the state receiving $26.4m in gaming taxes (2022: $25.6m)
Per property, MGM Grand was top with $154.7m (2.5 per cent YoY uptick), followed by Motor City with $97.3m (0.9 per cent decline) and Hollywood Casino with $74.2m (11.5 per cent increase).
Everi Holdings has agreed to acquire certain assets of gaming content provider Video King for a cash consideration of approximately $59m, subject to customary net working capital adjustments.
Expected to be completed within the next 60 days, the transaction will be funded from existing cash on hand and is expected upon closing to be immediately additive to the company’s adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.
Randy Taylor, CEO of Everi, stated: “Over the past several years, we have had great success with executing on acquisitions that grow our product capabilities and the markets we serve.
“During this time, we have established a track record of successfully scaling up acquisitions that have delivered an attractive return on investment and helped drive strong cash flow.
“We are highly confident that by helping to elevate our current Games, FinTech and Digital solutions with and adjacent to our established customer base, the acquisition of Video King will meet those same criteria and offer Everi another lever for growth.”
The US gaming industry is “more diverse than national and hospitality industry benchmarks”, according to research from the American Gaming Association.
Analysing EEOC data, the study also revealed that the industry “boasts a diverse executive pipeline, while identifying opportunities on gender representation”.
In total, 26 AGA member organisations took part in the research, including gaming industry companies from the manufacturer, commercial and tribal operator segments.
Completing an EEO-01 form, participants provided gender, race/ethnicity and job classification data for their workforces, submitting this data to a third-party accounting firm that calculated the various diversity metrics and safeguarded confidentiality. The data submitted was also reviewed for consistency across participants.
Results from the AGA study include:
- 61 per cent of gaming industry employees are minorities (52 per cent of the broader hospitality industry and 42 per cent of the total US workforce).
- 23 per cent of gaming employees are Hispanic and 19 per cent are Black (both higher than the national workforce and in line with the hospitality industry).
- 60 per cent of operator employees are minorities, up nearly 20 per cent from 2011 (higher than the hospitality sector and national workforces overall).
- 45 per cent of gaming manufacturer employees are minorities (38 per cent in the broader electronic manufacturing workforce).
Spelinspektionen, Sweden’s gambling inspectorate, has received an additional SEK 2.4m (€200,000) to its 2023 budget from the Riksdag via the government’s Ministry of Finance to help it tackle illegal gambling activities.
These funds will help to support the safeguarding of Sweden’s regulated online gambling marketplace and assist the authority in handling both “a large influx of permit applications and important supervisory tasks”.
“We welcome these extra funds which enable further strengthened measures in the fight against unlicensed gambling, money laundering and match-fixing,” noted Spelinspektionen’s Director General Camilla Rosenberg.
Spelinspektionen added the additional funding will help it further personnel resources expansion to already planned activities, whilst carrying out more supervisory and information activities.