Caesars, MGM Sports Betting Exposure Isn’t Fully Appreciated, Says Analyst

Posted on: October 15, 2020, 12:48h. 

Last updated on: October 15, 2020, 03:05h.

Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) are increasing exposure to the rapidly growing domestic sports betting industry. But one analyst argues that the financial market doesn’t yet fully appreciate the operators’ growing footprints in this arena.

Seen is the exterior of the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. on March 7, 2000. It was reported on June 16, 2004 that Mandalay Resort Group, owner of the Mandalay Bay and Luxor casinos, accepted MGM Mirage’s $4.8 billion, or $71 a share acquisition offer. (Photo by Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty Images)

Through its pursuit of William Hill (OTC:WIMHY), Caesars is viewed as a potentially indomitable force in the sports wagering landscape. Meanwhile, MGM is leveraging its BetMGM/GVC Holdings unite, for internet casinos and sports betting businesses.

Morningstar gaming and leisure analyst Dan Wasiolek encourages investors seeking exposure to this space to review the Harrah’s and Bellagio operators.

“Of the companies we cover, Caesars and MGM stand to benefit the most from sports betting expansion in the U.S., given their respective 100% and 79% earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) exposure to domestic gaming markets in 2019,” said Wasiolek in a recent report.

He estimates sports wagering will drive $550 million in turnover for Caesars next year, or 5.9 percent of the operator’s overall revenue. Wasiolek notes that projection excludes $100 million in iGaming revenue in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. At $650 million, that forecast is in line with the $600 million to $700 million in revenue Caesars itself said those units could deliver in 2021.

Fantastic Forecasts

Accounting for three expected venue sales in Indiana, by 2021, 40 of Caesars’ 51 properties will be in states where sports wagering is permitted.

That opportunity could represent $2.16 billion in revenue. The operator can grab a 25.5 percent slice, according to Morningstar’s Wasiolek. The analyst says Caesars’ control of 21 gaming properties in Nevada and New Jersey, the country’s two biggest sports betting markets, more than 60 million loyalty members, and media deals will serve as drivers in the company’s sports wagering ascent.

Of the remaining 11 Caesars venues, 10 are in states where sports betting will be permitted by 2024, according to the analyst. Several could come aboard sooner than that with voters in Louisiana and Maryland, where the company operates a combined five venues (allotting for pending sales), considering sports wagering ballot initiatives this year.

Should those 10 of 11 states join the fray, Wasiolek projects another $2.5 billion in revenue, of which Caesars can capture $237 million.

Don’t Forget MGM

BetMGM is a rising force in the online casinos and sports wagering industries. GVC recently said the partnership commands an average market share of 17 percent in the states in which it operates and is on pace to deliver 2020 revenue of $150 million to $160 million.

“Lead by its strong portfolio of 13 Vegas properties, one of only three industry Detroit casinos in Michigan, its Borgata resort in New Jersey, a loyalty database of 34 million members, and its mobile platform that has partnered with major professional sports associations, we see MGM capturing a 22% share of this existing revenue opportunity, resulting in $365 million in sports revenue in 2021, or 3.4% of our forecast for its total sales that year,” said Wasiolek.

The analyst says fair value for MGM stock is $30, of which 10 percent is attributable to iGaming and sports wagering. If that forecast proves accurate, it would represent an upside of nearly 50 percent from current levels.