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Bally’s slips to full-year loss as Covid-19 pushes revenue down 28.8%


Bally’s Corporation has reported a net loss of $5.5m for its 2020 financial year after the temporary closure of its land-based casinos in the US led to a 28.8% drop in revenue.

Overall revenue for the 12 months through to December 31 stood at $372.8m, down from $523.6m in the previous year, when it still used the Twin River brand name.

Revenue was down across all business segments as the temporary closure of its casinos due to novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions in states across the US.

Gaming remained by far the operator’s primary source of income, but revenue fell 20.7% year-on-year to $291.7m, while racing revenue more than halved from $13.1m to $6.4m.

Closures meant hotel revenue fell by 36.7% to $24.7m, while food and beverage revenue declined 54.1% to $32.1m and other revenue 47.0% to $17.8m.

“2020 was a truly remarkable year for Bally’s,” Bally’s president and chief executive George Papanier said. “Amid the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we continued to systematically execute our strategic growth and development initiatives.”

The closure of casinos did mean Bally’s was able to make some savings, with its total operating expenses falling 11.7% to $361.2m. The majority of savings came in gaming, racing, hotel and food and beverage segments.

However, despite reducing costs, the business ended the year with an operating loss of $18.4m, compared to a $114.6m profit at the end of 2019. After including another $56.4m in expenses, including interest and costs related to the changing naming rights liabilities, related to Twin River’s acquisition of the Bally’s brand.

Loss before tax was $74.8m, compared to a $75.2m profit in the previous year, but after Bally’s received $69.3m in tax benefits, its net loss for 2020 amounted to $5.5m, compared to the $55.1m profit it posted for 2019.

Looking at Bally’s performance in fourth quarter, during which many restrictions were eased, with the exception of certain capacity limits and physical distancing, revenue was down 9.4%.

Gaming revenue was up 7.9% year-on-year to $95.5m, but racing revenue almost halved to $1.6m, when hotel revenue slipped 20.6% to $8.1m, food and beverage revenue 58.0% to $8.2m and other revenue 47.8% to $4.7m.

Operating costs were 33.8% higher at $135.7m, primarily due to an increase in advertising, general and administrative spending. Lower revenue and higher costs led to an operating loss of $17.6m, compared to a $29.0m profit in 2019.

After also accounting for $13.0m in other expenses, this left a loss before tax of $30.7m, down from a $17.8m profit in the previous year. However as Bally’s received $50.9m in tax benefits, this meant it ended Q4 with a net profit of $20.3m, up 50.8% year-on-year.

Key development for Bally’s in Q4 included the pending acquisition of Bet.Works, the strategic media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group, and the closing of the purchase of both Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino and the Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport.

“Though fourth quarter results were impacted by various regional capacity and health limitations, most notably in Rhode Island, we expect to benefit from a strong rebound in demand across our properties, as well as the operational efficiencies and strong margin improvements that we have seen as a continuing trend since re-opening from the pandemic,” Papanier said.

“In fact, market indications and preliminary results show markedly stronger consumer demand in January and February.”