Twin River Revenues Down, Casinos Continue Feeling Pressure From Encore Boston Harbor

Posted on: October 2, 2019, 10:01h. 

Last updated on: October 2, 2019, 11:12h.

Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:TRWH), is grappling with the same competitive pressures as MGM Springfield and Connecticut’s two tribal gaming properties: Encore Boston Harbor is stealing customers, and that’s adversely affecting revenue at New England’s older casinos.

Twin River’s Rhode Island sportsbook helped offset some revenue declines in August. But Encore Boston Harbor is proving to be a problem. (Image: NY Post)

TRWH, the operator of Rhode Island’s two casinos, said table games revenue at its namesake Twin River property in Lincoln tumbled 40 percent in August, while slot machine turnover slid 16 percent. That table game loss exceeds the 34 percent decline in July, the first full month of business for Encore Boston Harbor, while Twin River’s August slot loss was slightly better than the 17 percent July dip.

Amid the increased competition from Wynn Resorts’ lone New England property, TRWH said in August it would reduce headcount at its Ocean State venues. The Rhode Island casinos typically experience revenue declines in the summer months, as residents of the state take advantage of good weather to visit other parts of the region.

Historically, revenue at Twin River and the Tiverton Casino bounces back after Labor Day. But 2019 is the first year with Encore Boston Harbor on the scene, so there are no guarantees TRWH’s historical revenue patterns repeat this year.

It’s apparent that Twin River Casino in Lincoln is experiencing the effects of competition with Encore,” said Rhode Island Lottery Commission spokesman Paul Grimaldi in an interview with WPRI News.

Twin River’s August table game revenue was $1.19 million, down from $1.96 million a year earlier. The August 2019 figure is modestly higher than the $1.18 million posted in July.

Looking For Offsets

Data confirm that Encore Boston is proving to be a problem for other New England casinos. On a year-over-year basis, Twin River’s table game revenue declined for three consecutive months from May through July. Wynn’s venue in Everett, Mass. opened in late June.

Combined, Twin River and Tiverton notched $43 million in August slots and table game turnover, about $1 million less than in the year earlier period. Some of that drop was offset by Rhode Island gamblers losing almost $852,000 on sports bets in the eighth month of the year, according to WPRI.

TRWH and Rhode Island are taking steps to cope with rising competition. Last month, mobile sports betting was rolled out there, and the Tiverton Casino recently got approval to remain a 24-hour a day venue.

Expected Declines

Rhode Island gaming officials knew Encore Boston Harbor would be problematic for Ocean State casinos, as they previously forecast lost slots and table game revenue of $39 million for the 2018-19 through 2023-24 fiscal years.

TRWH wasn’t the only New England operator feeling the heat from Encore Boston in August. That month, MGM Springfield posted gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $20.96 million, less than half the $52.48 million reported by the rival Wynn property.

Wall Street analysts previously said TRWH can endure new competitive threats in the region because the company doesn’t target the same clientele as Encore Boston Harbor, and because Rhode Island offers sports betting, while Massachusetts currently does not. Shares of TRWH are down almost 17 percent since Aug. 1.