Full House Selling $100M in Notes to Fund Temporary Illinois Casino

Posted on: February 1, 2022, 07:53h. 

Last updated on: February 1, 2022, 11:32h.

Full House Resorts (NASDAQ:FLL) said it’s selling $100 million worth of senior secured notes to fund a temporary casino in Waukegan, Ill.

Full House
A rendering of Full House’s American Place integrated resort in Waukegan, Ill. The operator is selling $100 million in debt to fund a temporary venue there. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The notes, which mature in 2028, are being sold in a private debt offering and represent an add-on to a $310 million issue the gaming company brought to market in February 2021. That was followed by an equity sale to raise additional capital.

The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the Additional Notes offering to develop, equip and open The Temporary by American Place, our planned temporary casino in Waukegan, Illinois which we intend to operate while we design and construct our permanent American Place facility,” according to a statement issued by Full House.

Proceeds will also be used to pay transaction fees from the sale and for general corporate purposes. Investors in the original debt sale approved the new sale and consented to an increase in Full House’s credit facility to $40 million from $15 million.

Waukegan Pivotal to Full House Thesis

In December, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) chose Full House as the winning bidder for an integrated resort project in Waukegan, prompting an epic rally in the stock.

The new gaming venue will be known as American Place, and analysts view it as a material addition to the Full House portfolio. Last November, Roth Capital analyst Edward Engel said the project is worth $3.50 a share to the operator’s stock price. He forecast the venue is capable of generating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and gross gaming revenue (GGR) comparable to the Grand Vic — a casino 40 miles away from Chicago.

Should Full House notch EBITDA of $50 million to $60 million at American Place, that implies a return on investment of approximately 15 percent.

The Temporary by American Place is slated to open in the middle of this year, and will feature 1,000 slot machines and 50 table games. Those gaming assets will be transferred to the permanent venue when it opens.

Other Full Houses Catalysts

Nevada-based Full House runs a pair of casinos in its home state, and one apiece in Colorado, Indiana, and Mississippi.

The company is also in the process of completing the Chamonix Casino Hotel — another project analysts view as a potential catalyst for the shares. Citing inflation and supply-chain issues, Full House recently increased its budget for the high-end integrated resort to $250 million.

At the end of 2020, Full House had $265 million in cash and cash equivalents, “including approximately $177 million of restricted cash dedicated to the construction of its Chamonix Casino Hotel project.”