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State of the Union: Caesars, Ontario, Indiana and more

Insight | Analysis

This week’s State of the Union, in partnership with Segev LLP, includes results from a variety of land-based operators including Caesars, Full House and Wynn, as well as legislation to open up the Ontario igaming market, the acquisition of QL Gaming Group by radio giant Entercom and sports betting figures from three Midwestern states.

Slow Vegas recovery hurts enlarged Caesars’ Q3 performance

Caesars Entertainment’s third quarter results offer further proof that Las Vegas is enduring a slower recovery than regional gaming markets, with revenue falling on a like-for-like basis and the business posting a quarterly net loss of $926m.

For the three months to 30 September revenue amounted to $1.38bn (£1.05bn/€1.16bn), more than doubling the legacy Eldorado Resorts’ revenue for Q3 2019. This only included 10 days’ contribution from the legacy Caesars Entertainment Corporation (CEC) business, however, after the operators’ mega-merger was closed on 20 July.

However, on a ‘same shop basis’ – factoring the properties that will be divested from the merged casino giant’s expanded portfolio, plus CEC’s performance for the first 20 days of July – revenue for the quarter came to $1.84bn, a 34.3% decline from the prior year.

Cost cutting helps IGT limit Q3 losses

International Game Technology (IGT) said efforts to reduce costs in the third quarter helped limit the business’s net loss, while a strong performance from its lottery division helped revenue improve from its novel coronavirus (Covid-19)-hit second quarter.

The supplier’s revenue for the three months to 30 September, reported as two core lottery and gaming divisions for the first time, fell 14.9% year-on-year to $981.5m (£743.8m/€832.8m).

This comprised $880.1m in services revenue, down 4.5%, followed by a sharper drop in product sales, which fell 56.2% to $101.3m.

Ontario government prepares legislation to end igaming monopoly

Ontario’s government is to introduce new legislation seeking to end the current online gambling monopoly in the Canadian province and open up the market to private operators.

At present, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is the only operator approved to offer online gambling in the province via its website.

However, after last year setting out in its budget plans to end the monopoly, the government has now taken this a step further in its 2020 budget, confirming it will introduce legislation to establish a more open market.

Entercom acquires QL Gaming Group

Radio and broadcasting giant Entercom Communications has closed on the acquisition of sports data and igaming affiliate platform QL Gaming Group (QLGG) in a cash deal worth approximately $32m.

The acquisition allows Entercom to integrate QLGG’s sports data, analytics and insight-driven content into its sports broadcast stations, podcasts, and online digital audio platform,

Indiana sports betting records tumble in October

The Indiana Gaming Commission has revealed that the state set new records in sports betting revenue and handle for the second consecutive month in October.

Revenue for the month amounted to $21.1m, up 83.5% from $11.5m in October 2019 and 47.6% higher than the previous monthly record of $14.3m, which was set in September of this year.

Full House sees net profit rocket in Q3 following casino reopenings

Full House Resorts has reported a 721.8% year-on-year rise in net profit for the third quarter, as the regional US casino operator’s properties rebounded from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) shutdown earlier this year.

Total revenue for the three months to September 30 amounted to $42.0m, down 5.2% from $44.3m in the corresponding period last year, with certain Covid-19 restrictions still in place on land-based gambling venues.

Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on Wynn performance in Q3

A 77.5% year-on-year drop in revenue to $370.5m and a hefty tax provision meant Wynn Resorts swung to an $831.5m net loss in the third quarter of 2020.

The operator made $201.9m from gaming, down 81.8%. Rooms brought in $61.1m, while food and beverages contributed $76.6m and entertainment, retail and other revenue came to $30.8m, all down more than 70%.

Penn National opens first Barstool retail sportsbook

Penn National Gaming (PNG) has announced has announced the launch of its first Barstool Sports-branded retail sportsbook in the US.

The Barstool-branded sports betting facility opened yesterday (November 5) at the operator’s Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk in Pennsylvania.

US acquisitions drive Century Casinos to record growth in Q3

Century Casinos has credited increases in revenue and profit for the third quarter to the impact of its acquisition of US casino properties from Eldorado Resorts.

Net operating revenue for the three months to September 30 reached $95.7m, up 80.7% from $52.9m in the corresponding period last year and a quarterly record for the operator.

Iowa sports betting revenue up 60.8% in October

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission revealed that sports betting revenue rose 60.8% year-on-year in October, aided by strong growth in online handle for the month.

Amounts wagered in the state grew 76.1% to $81.9m from October 2019 – the third month of legal wagering in Iowa – thanks to growth in online stakes. This broke the monthly record for amounts wagered, set in September this year.

Detroit commercial casinos post $101.4m in revenue for October

Detroit’s three commercial casinos reported $101.4m in revenue for October, including $7.6m from sports betting, while the Michigan Gaming Control Board has approved the renewal of each operator’s casino license for the next year.

Qualified adjusted gross receipts for sports wagering – gross receipts minus the monetary value of free-play incentives provided to and wagered by players – was 72.7% higher than $4.4m in September, the first full month of regulated sports wagering in the state.

Caesars commits $67m to communities in CSR drive

Caesars Entertainment invested $67m in communities its casinos serve during 2019 as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, its latest report reveals.

The latest report on ‘People Planet Play’, the framework that underpins Caesars’ CSR strategy, reveals a number of achievements by Caesars properties in 2019 and the first half of 2020, prior to the merger with Eldorado Resorts.

ggCircuit nears completion on Indiana esports arena buildout

Esports Entertainment Group has announced that ggCircuit, the B2B software business it agreed to acquire last month, is set to complete the buildout of the Century Center Esports Arena in Indiana by December.

The Century Center Esports Arena will serve as a destination for esports and gaming enthusiasts, offering visitors the chance to participate in or watch a range of live esports events.

Regional focus helps Golden Ent recover in Q3

Casino operator Golden Entertainment said that its diversified, regional property portfolio helped the business rebound from its novel coronavirus (Covid-19) shut-down in the third quarter of the year.

After hailing a better than expected second quarter performance, in which revenue fell 69.4%, Golden Entertainment’s reduced its year-on-year for the three months to September to 15.6%, or $205.4m.

Minnesota’s Canterbury Park sees Q3 revenue fall 28.5%

Minnesota-based racetrack Canterbury Park rebounded strongly from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) disruption in Q3, though ongoing capacity restrictions and weakened customer demand meant revenue remained down year-on-year.

Revenue for the three months ended September 30 came to $13.3m, down 28.5% from the third quarter of 2019, though up significantly compared to the first quarter.

PXP Financial announces partnership with Penn Interactive

Payment, fraud and data analysis service provider PXP Financial Ltd has announced a new partnership with Penn National Gaming’s online subsidiary, Penn Interactive through its US subsidiary, PXP Financial, Inc.

Penn becomes the latest operator to join PXP’s growing US portfolio, and through the partnership will benefit from the supplier’s full-service gateway, offering multiple connections to several payment service providers and a fully managed reconciliation and risk monitoring service.

GVC to fund gaming and regulatory online courses through UNLV

GVC Holdings’ non-profit arm, GVC Foundation US, has announced a gift of $256,000 to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), to help develop online industry training programs led by legal gaming scholars and executives.

The funds will be used by the university’s William S. Boyd School of Law to create programs aimed at operators, regulators, lawyers, and others who work in and around the gaming industry.

Evolution to launch with Caesars in Pennsylvania

Live dealer giant Evolution has rolled out a range of its games with Caesars Entertainment in the state of Pennsylvania.

Under the arrangement, the Caesars Casino & Sportsbook Pennsylvania will now offer players in the state access to Evolution live casino games, including game show-style games.

Amelco and Sportradar launch in Tennessee with Action247

Sports betting software and trading services provider Amelco and Sportradar have rolled out a full platform and managed trading services (MTS) solution with Tennessee-based online operator Action247.

The agreement saw Action247 roll out its new sports betting offering in the state on November 1, offering consumers in Tennessee the ability to wager on a wide range of sports.