Every week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most fascinating stories. Our latest headline reflection features strike action in Vegas, the latest financial round-ups for 2023’s third quarter and an uptick in the UK’s slot statistics.
Reported growth across the board in the third quarter, Caesars Entertainment achieved new records in consolidated adjusted EBITDA.
The operator’s consolidated adjusted EBITDA for Q3 came in at $1.04bn, up 3.1 per cent YoY, and as previously mentioned, growth was seen across Las Vegas, regional and digital segments.
“During the third quarter of 2023, the company achieved an all-time consolidated adjusted EBITDA record,” commented CEO Tom Reeg.
“We experienced adjusted EBITDA growth year-over-year in all three of our primary operating segments including Las Vegas, regional and Caesars digital. Our regional segment achieved an all-time quarterly adjusted EBITDA record as we harvest the recent portfolio investments within this segment.”
Las Vegas adjusted EBITDA improved by 0.4 per cent YoY to $482m (2022: $480m), while regional adjusted EBITDA rose by 0.9 per cent to $575m (2022: $570m).
While digital remained consistent as the same period the previous year, the figure moved out of the loss column, recording an adjusted EBITDA of $2m (2022: $38m loss).
Elsewhere, managed and branded adjusted EBITDA dropped by 9.1 per cent YoY to $20m (2022: $22m), while corporate and other adjusted EBITDA fell by 63.6 per cent to a $36m loss (2022: $22m loss).
Bally’s Corporation CEO Robeson Reeves praised “solid operating results” across all three business segments as the operator celebrated a record company-wide revenue amount in Q3.
Bally’s reported a company-wide revenue record of $632.5m, up 9.4 per cent year-over-year (Q3 2022: $578.2m) as gaming revenue increased to $508.9m (2022: $465.7m). Non-gaming revenue improved too, reaching $123.6m (2022: $112.5m).
Per segment, casino & resorts revenue rose by 9.3 per cent YoY to a new high of $359m (2022: $328.5m), assisted by the successful opening of the operator’s Chicago Temporary Casino in September.
Meanwhile, international interactive revenue increased by 7.2 per cent YoY to $243.9m (2022: $227.6m) “driven by a 13.1 per cent increase in the UK as market share gains continue”.
Reeves noted as well that the operator’s “timely adaptations in response to regulatory changes” in the UK have helped the international interactive segment perform well in the quarter.
In the government’s latest report on British gambling, the UK Gambling Commission has revealed that slot gross gambling yield and participation have increased over the past year in Q2 2023.
Gathering data from online operators and licensed betting operators, data showed that Q2 total GGY came in at £1.2bn, up 0.6 per cent year-over-year, driven by the previously mentioned increase in slots, however the GGY for nearly all other verticals decreased.
Online real event betting GGY decreased by five per cent YoY to £428m, total bets fell by one per cent, while actives dropped by 0.2 per cent. The UKGC accredited the decrease to a “series of unfavourable sports results for the bookies in September”.
Examining offline betting, GGY from licensed betting operators decreased by 0.4 per cent YoY to nearly £539m, while the number of total bets and spins dropped by one per cent to 3.1 billion.
Over-the-counter bets decreased by one per cent YoY in Q2 to 142 million, with GGY for the vertical dropping by 0.1 per cent to £166m. Bets on self-service betting terminals rose by 20 per cent YoY to 31.5 million, but its GGY declined by one per cent to £93m.
MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts are facing one of the largest hospitality strikes that the US has ever seen, after the Culinary and Bartenders Union scheduled its Las Vegas strike for November 10.
Following seven months of negotiations between the union and three of Vegas’ largest employers, the union still believes the employers “haven’t made enough movement in negotiations” to deliver a five-year contract that meets its conditions.
With the dispute having begun in April as the union was unable to agree to terms of a five-year contract that met its conditions of improved wages and benefits, the strike could see over 35,000 workers walk out next week across 18 Vegas locations.
The destinations include eight MGM Resorts properties – Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, New York-New York, and Park MGM – nine Caesars International properties – Caesars Forum, Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Horseshoe, Paris, Planet Hollywood, The Cromwell, and The Linq – and Wynn Resorts.
Addressing the ongoing dispute to shareholders in the company’s latest earnings call on Tuesday, Caesars Entertainment CEO, Thomas Reeg, stated: “When we reach an agreement on the contract, it’s going to be the largest increase that our employees have seen in the four decades since we started interacting with the Culinary Union.”
Entain’s Q3 trading has fallen in line with previously stated guidance, as the gambling group outlined new initiatives “to improve the quality of its earnings”.
EBITDA margins were impacted by customer-friendly sports results and responsible gambling initiatives during the quarter, but CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen has stated that the firm has a “clear plan to focus” its portfolio on “organic growth”.
Leadership has outlined a streamline of operations as well, as the firm plans to undergo key directives that it hopes will accelerate its operational strategy.
Publishing its Q3 results, Entain declared a total group net gaming revenue increase of seven per cent year-over-year, and up 10 per cent on a constant currency basis.
Excluding US operations, group NGR is up seven per cent on the previous year, up nine per cent cc, but down five per cent on a proforma basis.
Lottomatica Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary GBO has signed an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the share capital of SKS365 Malta.
Through the deal, Lottomatica SPA would become the outright largest omnichannel gambling group in the Italian market, taking on SKS365’s 600,000 registered online users, the Planetwin365 and PlanetPay365 brands and a 1,000 sports betting shop retail network.
A statement on the deal read: “SKS365 has a market share of 9.6 per cent in isports and 6.4 per cent in igaming and is expected to generate an EBITDA of approximately €74m in FY2023, of which approximately 70 per cent online and 30 per cent sports franchise.”
The €639m transaction strengthens Lottomatica’s position in Italy with an online market share of 28.3 per cent. The group estimates that it will achieve cash cost synergies of €60m and revenue synergies of at least €5m by 2026.
Following a strong Q3, IGT is confident in accomplishing its near and medium-term goals, as CEO Vince Sadusky noted that the gaming company achieved “excellent momentum in key performance indicators” in the quarter, resulting in “revenue growth and stronger profit expansion”.
IGT reported that Q3 total revenue was consistent on a year-over-year basis at $1.06bn (Q3 2022: $1.06bn), and up six per cent YoY (2022: $1bn) when excluding its Italy commercial services, which were sold in September 2022.
Gaming revenue rose by eight per cent YoY to $409m (2022: $379m) following growth in the installed base – up 472 units to 52,627 – and higher system and software sales.
PlayDigital revenue came in at $55m, up one per cent YoY (2022: $54m) as icasino double-digit GGR growth was ‘offset by the impact of exiting certain legacy iSoftBet jurisdictions and unusually high sports betting hold levels in the prior year’.
Meanwhile, lottery revenue declined by four per cent YoY to $601m (2022: $626m). Excluding the Italy commercial services sale, revenue rose by five per cent on strong same-store sales in Italy, with continued strength in both instant ticket and draw games and elevated US multi-state jackpot activity.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has issued a penalty of $13,320 to The Seven Network Operations Ltd for breaching online content rules regarding gambling advertising.
Following an investigation by the ACMA, Seven was found to have broadcasted a gambling advert outside the specified times during a live sports coverage on its streaming service.
The authority has stated that gambling promotions cannot be shown during live streams of sporting events between 5am and 8:30pm, including the five minutes before and after a game.
According to the ACMA report, ‘a gambling advertisement was shown at 10:38am on 7plus during a live stream of an NFL American Football game on 12 December 2022’, and this breach follows the ACMA ‘publishing a formal warning to Seven in October 2022 for a similar incident’.
In response to the investigation, Seven noted that the streaming of the ad was ‘an isolated event’ and that additional mitigation measures have been implemented to stop it from happening in the future, including additional oversight and training.
Seven has paid the $13,320 penalty for the breach, the maximum amount the ACMA can apply in these circumstances.