Last week various casino operators shared the stage. Quarterly earnings reports can often contain interesting news. These quarterly earnings reports and calls are for investors but the information provided can usually broken into two segments; investor news and customer news.
Investors care about the bottom line finances which can offer insight to why casino-resorts in Las Vegas are operated in a particular manner. Meanwhile, customer news from casino operators is usually something actionable. New construction, entertainment and restaurant news, hotel room renovations and future plans are often discussed. This information helps investors project finances, while customers get to know about new attractions.
MGM Resorts International Earnings
I was looking forward to hearing about specifics on their Profit Growth Plan (maximizing revenue like paid parking, minimizing expenses like offering fewer comp drinks, etc.) and future construction in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, specifics weren’t discussed for either topic. There was some interesting information shared but not the big news I was hoping for.
MGM Resorts discussed their focus on luxury customers. Their upper tier casino-resorts are doing great business. In fact, Bellagio had it best month since opening. Well, at least their EBITA (Earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization) in July was higher than any other month before. According to MGM Resorts CEO, Jim Murren, they are seeing more international high rollers visiting their casinos than they have in a while. Some of these high rollers are returning customers and some are new to MGM Resorts.
Many luxury customers offer high margins (and profits). MGM Resorts is looking for a customer that offers higher margins anywhere they can find them. They continue to move away from small margin customers in the casino to high margin, recreational, customers. In blackjack, they’re focusing on recreational players who don’t mind getting paid 6:5 blackjack as opposed to smarter players who won’t play if they receive less than 3:2 blackjack. This isn’t new and it will likely continue to be a focus in the casino.
MGM Resorts Officially Operates Borgata In Atlantic City
Last week MGM Resorts announced that they officially own the Borgata in Atlantic City. The staff from the New Jersey casino-resort was in Las Vegas learning how MGM Resorts International operates. There are a few Las Vegas tie-in’s with this purchase.
MGM Resorts will offer Borgata staff access to their Profit Growth Plan (PGP). Borgata customers should expect to see some of the amenity consolidation and increased expenses Las Vegas properties have seen.
Expect some bigger shows and crossover acts from Las Vegas as MGM Resorts helps Borgata book better entertainment. The Park Theater opening at Monte Carlo and entertainment at T-Mobile Arena may offer some insight as to what to expect.
Lastly, Murren noted that there was only 5% crossover between Borgata’s customer database and MGM Resorts International. That leads into the next section of news.
Say Hello To Mlife Rewards And Goodbye To Borgata Rewards
Now that Borgata is an MGM Resorts property, the property will slowly be integrated into an MGM Resorts property. In addition to the PGP and entertainment, Borgata’s players club will become part of MGM Resorts players club. Sometime in 2017, Borgata Rewards will be transferred to become Mlife Rewards.
Borgata Black cardholders who already have an Mlife Rewards Sapphire or Pearl card will be automatically upgraded to Gold Mlife Rewards status next time they visit an MGM resort outside Atlantic City. Players without an Mlife Rewards account will receive the same upgrade when they sign up. In either case, you’ll need to take your Black Label card to any MGM Mlife Rewards desk.
If you’re a Borgata customer, you should read the entire article about the two players clubs. When I lived on the east coast, Caesars Entertainment was the only connection to Las Vegas for most visitors. The acquisition of Borgata and the opening of MGM National Harbor in December will give east coast gamblers (that’s a great name for a blog) two new ways to earn comps to use in Las Vegas.
Caesars Entertainment Earnings
Caesars Entertainment’s big revenue generator is focused in two places: Hotel rooms and dining. There are constantly new restaurants opening in Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas. Eater Vegas is a great website to follow to keep up to date with all restaurant news.
Last year Caesars Entertainment started renovating some of their hotel rooms at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, Harrah’s and Paris. This year they committed to 5,000 room renovations. They’ve completed about half of those renovations and are on track to finish the remaining rooms by the end of the year. Surprisingly, overall room rates at these hotels were up less than 10% since last year at the same time. Look for more renovations in the future to keep room rates trending upward.
The only real news on the earnings call was about how popular self check-in has become at their hotels. Since starting at The Linq, the self check-in kiosks have expanded to Flamingo and Caesars Palace. This earnings call revealed that Paris Las Vegas would begin offering self check-in kiosks in the next month or so. Check-in lines are ridiculous in most Las Vegas hotels so we should expect to see Caesars expand this to all properties shortly. Other properties (specifically MGM Grand) would be wise to follow.
Caesars Palace celebrated its 50th anniversary on August 5th. On a personal note, the more I’ve been writing about the property the more I’ve come to appreciate it more than ever. My disdain of the property from before moving to Las Vegas is going away every day.
Last month I noted a slew of show closings that included “Showstoppers” at Wynn. According to the former Las Vegas Sun and new Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter, Johnny Kats, the show will go on. Last week Steve Wynn told the staff that “Showstoppers” will actually get a 3-month extension.
Robin Leach is sharing a rumor that Donny & Marie will be extending their contract to stay at the Flamingo for another year. Read more here.
Rumor: Insert Your Own Jokes About The D And Hooters
Leach is also rumoring that Derek Stevens might purchase Hooters Casino. Stevens owns The D, Golden Gate and the property once known as the Las Vegas Club in downtown Las Vegas. While the Donny & Marie rumor seems legit, this is out of left field and hasn’t been mentioned by anyone that usually corroborates rumors when they’re true. I’ll believe this when I hear it from other sources.
Learn About Red Rock Resorts (AKA Station Casinos)
I’m at a Red Rock Resorts property a 2 or 3 times a week. If you follow me on any social media you’ve seen pictures or commentary about the music at Red Rock Casino. Besides the property being down the street, I like how the company operates. If I didn’t live in this part of Las Vegas, I may never have known much about Station Casinos, err Red Rock Resorts. SeekingAlpha.com put together a really good overview of Red Rock Resorts for investors. It’s a great read if you’d like to learn about the company.