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MGM’s regional properties soften Strip operations drop in Q4

BetMGM generated revenue of $178 million last year, achieved 17% of the U.S. market

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GM Resorts International saw net revenues in the fourth quarter fall 53% year-over-year to $1.5 billion, the company said on Wednesday. Net loss was $448 million for the quarter, compared to the $2 billion net income in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Net revenues at Las Vegas Strip resorts dropped 66% to $480 million in Q4 compared with the prior year, and MGM China net revenues declined 58% to $305 million in that same period. Regional properties’ fall was softer, with a 34% decline to $595 million. Therefore, 40 percent of the company’s net revenues from the quarter came from its regional operations, while Las Vegas accounted for 32%. Adjusted Property EBITDAR improved over the third quarter.
MGM’s annual net loss in 2020 was $1 billion, compared with a net income of $2 billion in 2019. The company saw a $1.5 billion gain by selling the land under MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay in January 2020.
MGM said Wednesday that it remains optimistic on the Strip’s future, though CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle believes a full recovery may not come until 2022. Bookings are on the rise, and the company said it plans to keep all of its properties — including Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, and Park MGM — open throughout the week, starting next month.

The company’s US joint-venture with Entain, BetMGM, generated revenue of $178 million last year and the amount should more than double in 2021, MGM said, adding that it had 17% the U.S. market, which it expects to climb to $25 billion by 2025. “We expect to be in 20 markets by the end of the year, and are very pleased with the January launches in Iowa, Michigan, and Virginia,” Hornbuckle said. Those 20 markets would open up access to about 40 percent of the total U.S. population.
BetMGM said it has a No. 1 position in sports betting in Tennessee, where it holds more than one-third of the market. In Michigan, it has signed up 138,000 customers since launching last month.
“In 2021, we and our partner Entain expect new revenue associated with BetMGM to grow well over 100 percent,” Hornbuckle said. “We remain aligned on investing aggressively to fund the growth of this business.”

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Red Rock’s Palms, three other Vegas casinos likely to delay reopenings until customers return

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ed Rock Resorts CEO Frank Fertitta said Tuesday the Palms hotel-casino and three other properties in Las Vegas will likely reopen when the company is confident their customer bases will return.
Red Rock Resorts is a publicly-traded company that owns a portion of Station Casinos. The company has four closed properties in Las Vegas including Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho, Fiesta Henderson and Palms Casino Resort. The firm also owns Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Santa Fe Station, Boulder Station, Palace Station and Sunset Station, together with its Wildfire properties. It also owns the Graton Casino Resort north of San Francisco.
Fertitta said there were “two buckets” that the properties fall into, the tourist customer base and the customer base of older Las Vegas locals, according to transcripts from his earnings call Tuesday, KTNV reports. “I think the Palms is very oriented towards the tourist market visitation to Las Vegas,” said Fertitta, “getting that business to return to normal.”
“And in the local properties, we’re going to continue to look at how the older demographic response, given the vaccine, and get business back to normal before we do anything unless we’re certain that we can be cash-flow positive,” he added.
Fourth-quarter, year-end financial resorts
Red Rock Resorts reported Tuesday a $174.5 million loss for 2020, which compares to a net loss of $6.7 million in 2019. Net revenues for the year were down about 36%, dropping from $1.9 billion to $1.2 billion.
The casino operator reported an adjusted EBITDA of $368.5 million for 2020, compared to $509.0 million in 2019. “The decrease in year-over-year adjusted EBITDA was primarily due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Red Rock said. As with most other Las Vegas resorts, Red Rock has found a solution to fewer customers by cutting expenses in segments of its business that doesn’t yield high profits.
For the fourth quarter, Red Rock Resorts reported net revenues of $343.4 million, a decrease of 25.5% from the same period of the prior year, while net income was $49.6 million, an increase of $42.8 million. Casino revenues amounted to $240 million at its Las Vegas operations — about $15 million less than the fourth quarter of 2019, though Adjusted EBITDA was up 5.5%.
With less revenue and lower expenses from non-casino operations including food and beverage and hotel rooms, the higher margins in casino operations helped the bottom line. Adjusted EBITDA was $150.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, an increase of 9.4%.

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Pennsylvania, Nevada and Illinois sportsbooks score big in Super Bowl

According to preliminary figures released by the states’ respective gaming boards

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he Nevada Gaming Control Board released figures on Tuesday that showed $136.1 million was wagered in the state on Super Bowl LV that featured the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, marking the fourth-best win for the state’s books in the last 10 years.
The sportsbooks ended up holding 9.2% of the money wagered for a “win” of $12,574,125, KTNV reports.
According to the gaming control board, Nevada is home to 184 sportsbooks and several were still able to have guests enjoy the game under COVID-19 restrictions.
As for Pennsylvania, the state’s board preliminary figures show $53.6 million was wagered on Sunday’s Super Bowl through retail and online sportsbooks, which represents a 74% increase over wagers placed on the game last year.
After payouts, revenue is expected to be $9.4 million following a negative revenue amount from 2020 Super Bowl wagering, the Reading Eagle reports.
This was the third year in which legal sports wagering was available in Pennsylvania for the Super Bowl, but just the second in which online wagering options were available. This year, patrons could choose to place Super Bowl wagers at 15 retail locations and through 12 online wagering sites. Those numbers last year were 12 and eight respectively.
The board also reported that there were 320,000 unique users that logged onto online sports wagering sites in Pennsylvania on Super Bowl Sunday based on data it obtained from geolocation technology service GeoComply.
Figures from last year’s Super Bowl Sunday were 200,000 unique visitors to Pennsylvania regulated sports wagering websites. These figures do not include customers who were visiting and wagering at any of the retail sports wagering locations in the Commonwealth.
Finally, in Illinois, taking their first chance to bet legally on the Super Bowl, football fans laid down $46 million in wagers, an amount called “historically the largest amount ever in Illinois.”
According to figures released Monday by the State Gaming Board, the total handle was $45,610,513 — with $42,756,647 of those bets being made online. The state’s cut of that is $1,148,890 in tax revenue.
“That number, that 1.1 could go up,” said Joe Miller, the board’s policy director. “There’s still some outstanding wagers still out there. So yeah, though, these are all preliminary numbers, just raw from the sportsbooks this morning.”
Miller said the big game was the biggest event since sports betting was legalized in 2019 and launched last year.
“I just don’t know that there was a comparable event since last March when the first sports betting started,” he said. “Maybe some European soccer or something, but I don’t even think that that comes close. I think this is historically the largest amount ever in Illinois, and it’s that way for other jurisdictions as well.”
The money bet on this one event is “nearly 20% to a quarter” of the total amount of all bets made in November, the last month for the state has data, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

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Entain partners with UNLV to launch Women’s Innovation Igniter initiative

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ntain and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) announced on Thursday a new, groundbreaking partnership to launch the Women’s Innovation Igniter, an academic, technology, innovation, and mentoring program designed to provide UNLV undergraduate and graduate women with a pathway toward successful careers in the sports betting, gaming, and technology industries. 
Entain is a global sports betting and gaming entertainment operator that jointly owns, with MGM Resorts International, BetMGM in the United States. Entain leads the betting and gaming industry through its proprietary technology that also provides the engine for the roll-out of BetMGM.
Through the Women’s Innovation Igniter initiative, Entain and UNLV will recruit, mentor, support and introduce talented women to the industry and design more inclusive working environments in historically male-dominated fields. 
The program will be housed at the Harry Reid Research and Technology Park, a unique innovation building featuring a state-of-the-art laboratory with an esports arena, virtual reality studio and more.  The curriculum will include practical, hands-on experiences, internships, and mentoring from top executives in the industry, as well as providing the support and resources needed to bring innovations and designs to life.
In partnership with Entain and UNLV, The Women’s Innovation Igniter project will be led by Jan Jones Blackhurst, Chief Executive in Residence, International Gaming Institute, and Robert Rippee, Ph.D., Executive Director, Innovation Hub. The program is set to launch in August 2021 with about 20 women in the initial class.
“Entain is the ideal partner to help us bring this groundbreaking program to life,” said Jan Jones Blackhurst. “As a leader in online sports betting and gaming, Entain will help us showcase the myriad of opportunities available in these professional fields, further develop our curriculum, and help women see career pathways in a technology-led industry where they are not always well-represented.”
Last month, Entain named Jette Nygaard-Andersen its CEO, marking her out as one of the highest-profile female executives in the sports betting industry. Teaming up with UNLV on The Women’s Innovation Igniter gives Entain the opportunity to continue to set precedents in the sports betting, gaming, and technology industries, and help ensure commercial success with talented women in key roles.
“We are honored to be a part of such an inspiring and pioneering program with UNLV,” said Jette Nygaard-Andersen. “Women can face many obstacles in getting traction in careers that are often or traditionally male-dominated. This program will encourage women to aspire for careers they previously may not have considered, and it provides the hands-on experience they need to make the sports betting, gaming, and technology industries more inclusive.”
Entain intends to open an office at The Harry Reid Research and Technology Park with employees that will include engineers as well as software and gaming developers.  Entain will seek opportunities to mentor, as well as create internships and jobs for some of these young women following the program, not just at Entain, but also with other leading companies throughout the industry.
UNLV’s Harry Reid Research and Technology Park was unveiled in 2020 and provides students the resources and skills needed to accelerate the introduction of new concepts into the gaming and hospitality market, and spur creativity and entrepreneurship overall.

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