Soros Liquidates Caesars, VICI Stakes, Cooperman Adds to Las Vegas Sands Holdings
Posted on: February 14, 2022, 12:44h.
Last updated on: February 14, 2022, 02:52h.
Soros Fund Management, the family office of billionaire financier George Soros, departed a pair of gaming equities in the fourth quarter, leaving the investment vehicle with no exposure to the industry.
A recently filed Form 13F with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicates Soros Fund Management no longer holds stakes in Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) and VICI Properties (NYSE:VICI). The casino operator and the gaming real estate investment trust (REIT) were two of 17 positions the money manager departed in the October through December period of 2021.
The firm owned 326,100 shares of Caesars entering the fourth quarter. Form 13F’s don’t reveal exactly when or at what prices an asset manager buys or sells securities. Based on the Feb. 11 closing price, that amount of Caesars stock was worth $27.3 million.
VICI, which is Caesars’ primary landlord, is a name Soros Fund Management previously reduced exposure to. News of the liquidated stakes in the casino giant and the real estate company comes a year after the family office dumped its entire position in DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG).
The latest 13F from Soros also indicates the firm sold 26,200 shares in Churchill Downs (NASDAQ:CHDN), ending its exposure to that gaming company as well.
Cooperman Boosts Gaming Exposure
While Soros Fund Management eliminated its gaming holdings late last year, Omega Advisors, the hedge fund controlled by investor Leon Cooperman, increased its exposure to the industry.
Omega added to its stake in Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) after initiating a position in that stock during the third quarter. Cooperman’s investment firm bought 585,000 shares of LVS during the July through September period for a stake then valued at $21.41 million. The hedge fund now owns 723,300 shares of the Marina Bay Sands owner, valued at $27.22 million at the end of last year, according to the firm’s latest 13F.
Omega stepped into LVS as shares of Macau operator’s were languishing last year. But that proved to be a prescient move, as Macau stocks rallied to start 2022 on news that the special administrative region (SAR) will renew the licenses of the current six concessionaires while not expanding that number. Additionally, new regulations proposed by authorities there aren’t as burdensome as previously feared.
Shares of LVS are higher by nearly 20 percent year-to-date.
In the fourth quarter, Omega initiated an investment in gaming software provider GAN Ltd. (NASDAQ:GAN). It’s a small position for the hedge fund, consisting of 457,388 shares valued at $4.2 million at the end of 2021, according to the regulatory document.
GAN is a gaming software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider focusing on the real money internet gaming, online sports betting, and simulated gaming segments.
For how long Cooperman’s hedged fund is willing to be patient with GAN remains to be seen, as the stock is off 27 percent year-to-date.
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