Wed. Feb 1st, 2023

Good morning, and welcome to the Indy Gaming e-newsletter, a weekly take a look at gaming issues nationally and internationally and the way the occasions tie again to Nevada.

If a colleague or affiliate emailed this article to you, please click on right here to enroll and obtain your individual copy of Indy Gaming in your inbox. – Howard Stutz


David Kieske checked into the Venetian Resort forward of Monday’s Preview Las Vegas occasion. Entrance desk workers didn’t know they have been coping with an govt from the corporate that owns the Strip property.

Anonymity is strictly what the CFO for VICI Properties prefers.

VICI, which is headquartered in New York Metropolis, is the gaming trade’s largest actual property funding belief (REIT), proudly owning the land and buildings related to 49 gaming properties in 15 states and Canada. On the Strip, VICI owns roughly 660 acres protecting 10 resorts operated by MGM Resorts Worldwide, Caesars Leisure, Apollo World Administration and Exhausting Rock Leisure.

“We’re a passive actual property landlord fully behind the scenes,” Kieske stated throughout the Preview Las Vegas dialogue on the Las Vegas Conference Middle. “Our operators run the companies within the form or type they do greatest. We don’t become involved. We’re a really environment friendly enterprise mannequin as a result of we accumulate the lease and let our operators succeed.”

VICI additionally owns the Caesars Discussion board Conference Middle behind the Linq. In December, the corporate contributed $350 million towards a $2.2 billion development mortgage bundle for builders of the Fontainebleau to finish the long-stalled north Strip undertaking.

VICI additionally owns two resorts in Lake Tahoe and one in Laughlin.

Kieske got here to the half-day convention to assist clarify the corporate’s presence in Las Vegas. With virtually 40,000 lodge rooms and almost 6 million sq. toes of conference house, VICI has a bigger vested curiosity within the Strip than any firm or particular person within the boulevard’s historical past.

“No different street in America can replicate or showcase what (occurs) on the Strip. (It) is 4.2 miles lengthy and it’s the most economically productive avenue on the earth,” Kieske stated, noting Strip gaming income by means of November is already a report $7.5 billion with $42 billion in whole buyer spending.

“We concentrate on experiential actual property and who’re the most effective experiential operators, gaming operators,” he stated of the time period for companies that present leisure sights. “These are essential infrastructure initiatives.”

In an interview after his 30-minute presentation, Kieske stated VICI isn’t accomplished with Las Vegas. The corporate is looking for alternatives with downtown on line casino resorts and within the neighborhood on line casino market.

One actual property space the corporate shies away from is sports activities stadiums. VICI has not been linked to any of the latest discussions surrounding the potential transfer of the Oakland A’s to Las Vegas.

“One of many troubles with stadiums is the financial productiveness of the asset is definitely misaligned,” Kieske stated. “You consider baseball, which is 81 video games a season. What occurs the remainder of the 12 months?”

VICI Properties CFO David Kieske responds to a query throughout a keynote dialogue with Las Vegas Conference and Guests Authority CEO Steve Hill at Preview Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Impartial)

In simply over 5 years, VICI has risen to nationwide prominence. The corporate is a member of Normal & Poor’s 500 and has an enterprise worth of $50 billion. Up to now few years, VICI has invested in indoor water parks, luxurious spa resorts and golf programs (together with Cascata and Rio Secco in Southern Nevada). The corporate additionally has simply 23 workers.

VICI was born out of 2017’s sophisticated Caesars Leisure chapter reorganization which spun off 19 Caesars casinos to VICI with an enterprise worth of $13 billion – $6 billion in fairness and $7 billion in debt.

“We had an the wrong way up (capital construction) as a result of no one anticipated VICI to outlive,” Kieske stated. “We have been mainly set as much as fail.”

Kieske, who had almost 20 years of actual property expertise when he joined the rising firm, stated he, CEO Edward Pitoniak and firm president John Payne, weren’t going to let failure occur.

“A part of what we do is simply getting the true property investor to take a look at a on line casino as an actual property funding asset,” he stated.

VICI’s 49 on line casino properties nationwide are operated by 10 gaming firms. In December, VICI spent $200 million to accumulate 4 casinos in Alberta, Canada that have been leased again to the operator.

There additionally may very well be extra alternatives on the Strip. The corporate has the fitting to purchase 28 acres referring to the Caesars Discussion board Conference Middle. VICI additionally owns 27 undeveloped acres alongside Koval Lane adjoining to The LINQ that cross Flamingo Street and proceed behind the Horseshoe, Paris and Planet Hollywood properties.

Las Vegas Conference and Guests Authority CEO Steve Hill, who moderated the dialogue with Kieske, in contrast VICI to Howard Hughes, the founders of Valley Financial institution and Kirk Kerkorian. Collectively, the group is credited by historians with transitioning Las Vegas casinos away from organized crime possession to a company construction.

VICI has transformed a lot of the Strip’s enterprise mannequin from an owner-operator model to a landlord-tenant dynamic.

The evolution hasn’t been low cost. Final 12 months, VICI accomplished a $17.2 billion buyout of rival REIT MGM Development Properties and contributed $4 billion towards a $6.25 billion buy of the Strip properties that have been operated by Las Vegas Sands Corp. Earlier this month, VICI paid Blackstone REIT $1.27 billion and can assume the agency’s $3 billion in debt on the properties for 49.9 % of MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay.

“The best way we take into consideration our firm and constructing a diversified portfolio of actual property is with the most effective leisure and hospitality operators on the earth,” Kieske stated.


An worker prepares a roulette desk throughout opening night time at Resorts World Las Vegas on Thursday, June 24, 2021. (Jeff Scheid/Nevada Impartial)

Nevada casinos smash fiscal 12 months information, generate $4.1B in web earnings in 2022

Nevada casinos generated a report $4.1 billion in web earnings within the final fiscal 12 months, smashing a pandemic-influenced web loss from fiscal 12 months 2021.

Based on the Gaming Management Board’s Gaming Summary Report, fiscal 12 months 2022, which ended June 30, recorded whole gaming and non-gaming income of just about $26.4 billion, in contrast with the earlier fiscal 12 months’s whole income of $16.1 billion.

Each reporting market statewide, except South Lake Tahoe, recorded improved income totals in contrast with 2021.

“Pandemic-related restrictions severely impacted revenues throughout all departments except the on line casino division in fiscal 2021,” stated Management Board Senior Financial Analyst Michael Lawton.

The annual summary compiles figures from 296 casinos that recorded greater than $1 million or extra in gaming income throughout the 2022 fiscal 12 months. Non-gaming income consists of buyer spending on lodge rooms, meals and beverage, leisure, retail and different areas managed by the resort.

The online earnings determine was the very best whole ever recorded within the summary, breaking the earlier excessive of $2.9 billion set in fiscal 12 months 2020.

On the Strip, web earnings was $1.8 billion in fiscal 2022, the second-highest all-time whole, trailing the $2.7 billion in web earnings recorded in 2018. The Strip accounted for 87.1 % of the state’s total web earnings.

Gaming income statewide was virtually $10.7 billion, a rise of 26.2 % in contrast with the prior fiscal 12 months. The on line casino determine accounted for 40.5 % of the state’s whole income determine, down from 52.4 % a 12 months in the past.

On the Strip, gaming income of $5.2 billion elevated 45.7 % from a 12 months in the past and accounted for 30.2 % of the income whole, marking the twenty fourth straight 12 months that gaming income made up lower than 50 % of all income. 

Downtown Las Vegas casinos set fiscal 12 months all-time information for web earnings of $269.7 million, whole income of just about $1.5 billion and gaming income of $763.1 million.

Lawton famous one non-gaming income report. Common each day room charges on the Strip have been $196.37 for the fiscal 12 months, topping the earlier excessive of $185.03 in 2020.


Circa Sports activities proprietor and CEO Derek Stevens poses for a portrait inside Legends Bay On line casino in Sparks throughout a media preview occasion the day earlier than the property’s grand opening on Aug. 29, 2022. (David Calvert/The Nevada Impartial)

Circa to unveil sports activities betting in Illinois however analyst expectations are low

Circa Sports activities is able to launch operations in a fourth state, however analysts from advisory agency Eilers & Krejcik Gaming are tamping down expectations.

Circa, which is managed by downtown Las Vegas on line casino operator Derek Stevens, has a take care of Full Home Resorts to function sports activities betting on the firm’s deliberate on line casino resort in Waukegan, Illinois.

In Nevada, Circa operates a cellular app and has retail sportsbooks, together with its flagship three-story facility at Circa Resort On line casino, Stevens’ different two downtown casinos and satellite tv for pc places on the off-Strip Tuscany, The Move in Henderson and Legend’s Bay in Sparks.

Circa additionally has on-line sports activities betting licenses in Iowa and Colorado.

“Circa has some undoubted strengths however might nicely must improve its product for its U.S. growth to achieve traction,” Eilers & Krejcik analysts Chris Krafcik and Brad Allen wrote within the EKG Line e-newsletter.

In Nevada’s on-line sports activities betting trade, Circa has a 3.5 % market share. However Krafcik and Allen stated the competitors is stiffer in Illinois, the place DraftKings and FanDuel function. Neither firm is in Nevada.

“Circa (additionally) will not benefit from its Nevada vacation spot sportsbook presence,” the analysts wrote.

Full Home plans to open The Short-term, in Waukegan, Illinois by the top of March. The on line casino, an interim property till the $500 million American Place opens in two years, would be the closest on line casino to 1.2 million residents within the northern Chicago suburbs. 

Stevens informed PlayIllinois earlier this month Circa can be able to launch as quickly as the corporate good points Illinois regulatory approval.

Nevertheless, the analysts stated Circa’s cellular app completed thirty sixth out of 39 cellular apps within the agency’s fourth-quarter on-line sports activities betting app efficiency testing.

“Circa’s efficiency in Colorado additionally suggests an uphill battle when in competitors with the massive U.S. apps, and their advertising budgets,” Krafcik and Allen wrote. “Circa has lower than 1 % of the web sports activities betting share in Colorado during the last three months, per our estimates.”


The BetMGM Sportsbook at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. close to the centerfield entrance to the stadium. (Courtesy picture)

Stadium sportsbooks develop however not at Allegiant Stadium, T-Cellular 

The Washington, D.C. space has 4 sportsbooks at stadiums or arenas, greater than another market within the U.S.

Information web site Axios identified that phenomenon, noting there are seven different in-venue sportsbooks both opened or deliberate throughout 4 cities – three in Phoenix, two in Chicago and one every in Cleveland and New York.

If you happen to’re questioning, in-venue sportsbooks are prohibited in Nevada, that means T-Cellular Enviornment and Allegiant Stadium can’t be a part of the lineup. The State’s Gaming Management Act requires sportsbooks solely be positioned in and operated by a non-restricted gaming licensee – the time period for a full-scale on line casino.

In reporting on the partnership between the NFL’s Washington Commanders and Fanatics, which opened its first sportsbook on the workforce’s FedEx Subject in Landover, Maryland, Axios famous the opposite enviornment sportsbooks within the neighborhood of the nation’s capital. FedEx Subject is 12 miles from Capitol Hill.

Caesars Sportsbook – when it was often known as William Hill U.S. – opened the primary Washington, D.C. sportsbook on the Capital One Enviornment, house to the NHL’s Washington Capitals, the NBA’s Washington Wizards and WNBA’s Washington Mystics.

BetMGM opened a sportsbook final 12 months hooked up to Nationals Park, house of Main League Baseball’s Washington Nationals. Audi Subject, a soccer venue for D.C. United of the MLS and the Nationwide Girls’s Soccer League Washington Spirit, has a sportsbook operated by FanDuel.


Bally’s Las Vegas, which is being rebranded as Horseshoe Las Vegas is seen between Paris Las Vegas and The Cromwell on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Impartial)

Quotable

By way of Caesars Leisure press launch and Las Vegas Overview-Journal

Horseshoe Las Vegas, previously often known as Bally’s, is stepping up its restaurant recreation. The reworked Strip resort introduced final week Man Fieri’s Flavortown Sports activities Kitchen will open a 6,500-square-foot location contained in the resort this summer season as a part of the continuing model transformation. On the similar time, nation music icon Blake Shelton unveiled plans for a department of his Ole Purple music corridor on the entrance of the Horseshoe within the Grand Bazaar Retailers. Shelton informed leisure columnist John Katsilometes the Las Vegas location can be 4 tales tall and have a 686-seat music membership.

“Like I at all times say, ‘Go Huge or Go Residence,’ and that’s precisely what we’re doin’ now by bringing Flavortown Sports activities Kitchen to Vegas, child!”

–          Man Fieri

“If you happen to’re going to come back to Vegas, you’re not going to have to only go huge, you’ve bought to go big,” Shelton stated. “And I really feel like that’s what we’re doing with this location. 

–       Blake Shelton

By way of SeekingAlpha.com

Two-year-old hypothesis that MGM Resorts Worldwide would purchase United Kingdom betting large Entain Plc has renewed. A report by CTFN Information, a monetary providers web site, stated a long-awaited whitepaper on playing within the nation was about to be printed by the UK’s Division of Digital, Media, Tradition & Sports activities. Entain, MGM Resort’s 50-50 companion in BetMGM, turned down an all-stock takeover bid from its companion in January 2021 in addition to a money and inventory supply from DraftKings in September 2021.

“The continued debate over when and whether or not MGM will once more pursue buying Entain stays topical with traders. We imagine a deal is an eventuality given the power of BetMGM and MGM’s investor curiosity in a merger. Timing stays a matter of energetic debate.”

–       David Katz, Jefferies gaming analyst

By way of Related Press

New Jersey’s on line casino income matched the state’s all-time excessive in 2022, with the market reporting $5.2 billion. However there’s a catch. In 2006, the final time the state hit that mark, gaming was solely from Atlantic Metropolis’s 12 casinos. In 2022, gaming income consists of on-line on line casino gaming and sports activities betting in addition to Atlantic Metropolis, which has simply seven casinos. On-line casinos and sports activities betting, which additionally consists of figures from racetrack places in Northern New Jersey, was $2.52 billion of the general whole.

“To match these returns, you will need to take into account how a lot the market has modified up to now 16 years. To realize the returns we have now at present took a considerable growth and diversification of the New Jersey gaming product to compete with elevated competitors from neighboring states.”

–       Sarah Grady, assistant director, Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton College

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