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Gambling in the USA

Monarch Casino & Resort Reports Record Second Quarter Financial Results




Monarch Casino & Resort has reported record operating results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2023.

CEO Comment

John Farahi, Co-Chairman and CEO of Monarch, said: “Our financial results for the 2023 second quarter reflect our strong market position in Black Hawk and a year over year improvement in the operating performance at Atlantis. Net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA grew to all-time second quarter records of $123.7 million and $42.1 million, respectively, resulting in an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 34.1%.

“In Black Hawk, we continued to expand market share throughout the quarter, especially in the upper end of the market. We believe there are further growth opportunities as we continue to penetrate the Denver regional market.

“At Atlantis, we generated strong casino and food and beverage revenue, as guest visits and spend per visit increased year-over-year. Hotel revenue was impacted by renovation work during the quarter on the redesign and upgrade of hotel rooms in the second tower. Hotel performance improved in June as our full inventory of rooms became available to guests. The Reno market remains extremely competitive, we continue to prudently invest in Atlantis to maintain, what we believe is, a market-leading position.

“We remain committed to returning capital to our stockholders. Our strong balance sheet and free cash flow position us to invest in our existing properties, pay quarterly cash dividends and consider potential share repurchases under our existing share repurchase authorization. We continue to evaluate potential acquisition opportunities where we can employ our developmental and operational expertise in a financially prudent manner.”

Summary of 2023 Second Quarter Operating Results

In the 2023 second quarter, net revenue increased 7.3% year over year to $123.7 million, compared to $115.3 million in the prior-year quarter. Casino and food and beverage (F&B) revenues increased 7.8% and 10.8% year over year, respectively, while hotel revenues decreased 1.1% year over year. The increase in casino and F&B revenues was driven primarily by ongoing growth at Monarch Black Hawk. The decrease in hotel revenues was driven primarily by a decrease in the average daily rate.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses for the second quarter of 2023 were $25.0 million compared to $23.1 million in the prior-year period, driven primarily by an increase in utility, insurance and marketing and advertising expenses. As a percentage of net revenue, SG&A expense increased to 20.2% compared to 20.0% in the prior-year period. Casino operating expense as a percentage of casino revenue increased to 37.4% during the second quarter of 2023 from 36.5% in the prior-year period, primarily due to increased labor expense. F&B operating expense as a percentage of F&B revenue decreased to 72.3% during the second quarter of 2023 from 77.0% in the prior-year period due to an increase in average check and improved cost management. Hotel operating expense as a percentage of hotel revenue increased to 36.2% in the second quarter of 2023 compared to 34.4% in the same period a year ago, primarily due to a decrease in the average daily rate and an increase in labor expense.

Net income increased 15.3% and diluted EPS increased 15.2% compared to the same period a year ago. The Company generated second quarter 2023 consolidated Adjusted EBITDA of $42.1 million, an increase of $2.7 million, or 6.8%, over the same period a year ago.

Credit Facility and Liquidity

As of June 30, 2023, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $35.1 million and an outstanding principal balance of $41.0 million under its credit facility. During the 2023 second quarter, the Company made $10 million in principal payments on its credit facility. The Company expensed $0.8 million of interest in the second quarter of 2023 compared to $0.7 million in the prior-year period.

Capital expenditures of $10.3 million in the second quarter of 2023 were funded from operating cash flows and included the redesign and upgrade of hotel rooms in the second tower at Atlantis and maintenance capital spending at both properties.

On June 15, 2023, the Company paid a cash dividend of $0.30 per share to its stockholders of record on June 1, 2023. The cash dividend was funded from cash on hand.

Quarterly Dividend Declaration

The Company is announcing a cash dividend of $0.30 per share of its outstanding common stock. The dividend is payable on September 15, 2023, to stockholders of record on September 1, 2023. This cash dividend is part of the previously announced annual cash dividend of $1.20 per share payable in quarterly payments and subject to quarterly review and evaluation by the Company’s Board of Directors.

Gambling in the USA

Hacksaw Gaming Debuts DraftKings Partnership in New Jersey




The launch celebrates another North American venture with DraftKings this quarter.

Hacksaw Gaming established its business relationship with DraftKings this time last year. The pair have embarked on a North American takeover since, having successfully set the collaboration in motion in West Virginia after receiving full regulatory approval in June. The studio has already set eager sights on Pennsylvania as another future target.

Gripping the charts as renowned industry lead in the US, DraftKings has rolled out Hacksaw’s classic slots, Chaos Crew and OmNom, alongside fan-favourite Dare2Win games Mines and Boxes. The games have received a warm welcome in the online casino lobby following a fruitful agreement to brand Hacksaw’s first 10 games with exclusivity in the market for the next 2 weeks.

“Having secured such a significant presence in the US in 2023 is something we are incredibly proud of,” said Marcus Cordes, CEO of Hacksaw Gaming, “our hard work takes form in our ever-increasing footprint”.

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Compliance Updates

Jackpot Digital Receives License to Install Three Jackpot Blitz(R) ETGs at Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort in California




Jackpot Digital has announced that it has received licensing approval from the Jackson Rancheria Tribal Gaming Agency, the regulator for Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort located in Jackson, California. The vendor’s license was the final step required for the Company to install Jackpot Blitz ETGs at Jackson Rancheria. The Company is now scheduling installation for three of its next-generation, dealerless Jackpot Blitz ETGs at the property.

Each new table installed will represent additional monthly recurring revenue to the Company.

In addition to Jackpot’s cruise ship customers, which include Carnival Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Princess Cruises, Holland America, AIDA, and Costa Cruises, Jackpot has announced land-based installations or orders in 12 states and territories in the US and growing, including California, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, US Virgin Islands, Washington, as well as several international jurisdictions.

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Gambling in the USA

NYC Agency Aims to Streamline Casino Application Process, But Critics Warn of Potential Community Exclusion




On Monday, the Department of City Planning introduced a new measure aimed at simplifying the application process for casinos in New York City. However, this move has sparked criticism for potentially sidelining community boards.

This initiative, discreetly submitted last Friday, emerges amidst intense competition among prominent developers for one of the three sought-after casino licenses in the downstate area.

Dan Garodnick, the City Planning Commissioner, described the measure, formally known as a zoning text amendment, as an effort to streamline the alignment of city and state procedures during a meeting on Monday.

Garodnick explained, “Our proposal is designed to level the playing field for these entities as they strive to demonstrate the economic benefits they plan to bring to New York City. Our goal is to establish a process that facilitates an orderly dialogue.”

While the state is responsible for granting casino licenses, Garodnick and City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams expressed concerns in October about the city’s current land review processes. They argued that these processes are insufficient for new casinos, placing New York in a less competitive position.

The proposed amendment aims to simplify the review process, allowing state-sanctioned casinos to proceed without zoning conflicts or redundant steps in the state’s extensive licensing procedure, according to Garodnick.

With two of the downstate licenses likely going to existing racinos in Yonkers and South Ozone Park, Queens, the battle for the remaining license in New York City is intense. City Planning has confirmed eight potential locations, including five in Midtown Manhattan, one at Ferry Point in the Bronx, one in Queens proposed by Mets owner Steve Cohen, and another in Brooklyn near Coney Island, in addition to the Queens racino.


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