Browse articles by topic

Full House returns to profit despite Covid-19 impact in 2020


US land-based casino operator Full House Resorts has revealed that despite its properties having been impacted by novel coronavirus (Covid-19) closures and restrictions in 2020, it was able to post a net profit for the year.

Revenue for the 12 months to December 31 amounted to $125.6m, down 25.1% from $165.4m in the previous year.

Full House saw revenue fall in almost all areas of its business as casinos had to close in line with state Covid-19 regulations, and since reopening, have been limited to the number of customers they can permit inside.

Casino revenue fell 19.9% to $90.8m, while food and beverage revenue dropped 43.6% to $19.8m and hotel revenue 35.7% to $7.4m.

Breaking down the performance of each property, the Silver Slipper Casino and Hotel in Mississippi saw revenue fall 14.6% to $62.5m, after being closed for two months in the spring.

Revenue at the Rising Star Casino Resort in Indiana was down 32.0% to $45.6m, due to a three-month period of closure, while Bronco Billy’s Casino and Hotel in Colorado, which also closed for three months, saw revenue fall 26.2% to $20.3m.

The Northern Nevada segment – consisting of the Grand Lodge and Stockman’s casinos – also saw revenue drop 38.7% year-on-year to $11.7m.

However, despite expected declines across it land-based casino operations due to Covid-19, Full House did note improvements within its online business. The operator did not offer a full breakdown, but did state that revenue from other operations – including online and mobile – was up 40.7% to $7.6m.

“We now have approximately eight months of successful ‘reset operations’ behind us,” Full House president and chief executive Daniel Lee said.

“While capacity restrictions remain, as well as some additional costs related to the pandemic, so do the structural changes that we have made regarding our marketing and the ways we operate. We continue to believe that these results of the past several months are sustainable.”

Looking at expenses for the year, total operating costs were $115.1m, down by 27.7% from $159.2m in 2019, as closures and restrictions meant Full House was able to make savings across its casino operations.

This left an operating profit of $10.5m, up 69.4% on the previous year, while after also accounting for $10.4m in other expenses, profit before tax reached $55,000, compared to a $5.7m loss in 2019.

The operator also noted that adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 23.3% year-on-year to $19.7m.

Full House received $92,000 in tax benefits during 2020, meaning it ended the year with a net profit of $147,000, compared to a $5.8m loss in the previous year.

The operator also published results for its fourth quarter, during which revenue was only slightly down on the previous year, falling 1.8% to $38.3m.

Casino revenue was 4.6% higher at $27.2m, as Full House was able to welcome more customers back to its properties, though food and beverage revenue was 37.4% lower at $5.2m and hotel revenue down 18.5% to $2.2m. Other revenue, including mobile and online, was up 85.0% to $3.7m.

Operating costs were 22.3% lower at $30.6m, leaving an operating profit of $7.7m, compared to a $369,000 loss in 2019, while after including $4.3m in other expenses, profit before tax was $3.4m, up from a loss of $4.1m. Adjusted EBITDA also improved by 326.1% from $2.3m to $9.8m.

Full House received $90,000 in income tax benefits during the quarter, which meant it ended the three-month period with a net profit of $3.5m, compared to a $4.1m loss in 2019.

“Much like our third quarter, we had a phenomenal fourth quarter,” Lee said. “The fourth quarter tends to be seasonally weaker than the third quarter, but our properties continued to perform extremely well adjusted for the seasonality.”