Wynn Macau Perks Up, Sports Betting Coming Along, But US Casino Business Still Dismal

Posted on: February 4, 2021, 07:05h. 

Last updated on: February 5, 2021, 11:40h.

Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) delivered fourth-quarter results after the close of US markets today and the report was a good news/bad news affair.

Wynn Earnings
Wynn and Encore Las Vegas. The company’s US operations were a drag on fourth-quarter results. (Image: Business Insider)

The gaming company lost $2.53 a share on operating revenue of $686 million during the last three months of 2020. That compares with a loss of 68 cents on turnover of $1.65 billion in the comparable period in 2019.

The gloomy aspect of the report is most attributable to Wynn’s domestic operations — Wynn and Encore on the Las Vegas Strip and Encore Boston Harbor. In the December quarter, the operator notched adjusted property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $69.4 million. But just $30 million of that figure was derived from the three US integrated resorts.

Confirming the sluggishness of Sin City’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, Wynn posted adjusted property EBITDA there of $21 million on sales of $172.5 million. In the last three months of 2019, those numbers were $80.1 million and $368.8 million, respectively.

One bright spot: Occupancy at Wynn and Encore for Super Bowl weekend is expected to be 50 percent, the highest level since October.

Better News in Macau

Macau is Wynn’s largest market and it carried the day for the operator in the fourth quarter. In that period, the company was break-even on an EBITDA basis, indicating it’s positioned to benefit as the world’s largest gaming hub rebounds later this year.

One of the positives of 2020 was that we’ve been able to spend a lot of time thinking about the future of Macau and really what the growth drivers are going to be going forward,” said Wynn CEO Matt Maddox on a conference call with analysts. “And it’s crystal clear that the growth drivers for Macau are really the sweet spot of our company, and that’s the premium segment – premium mass, in particular.”

The company reached break-even EBITDA in the special administrative region on revenue that was just 32 percent of levels seen in the fourth quarter of 2019. That indicates cost controls are working.

CFO Craig Billings said the company’s average daily fourth-quarter expenses in Macau were $2.2 million, down from $3 million in the comparable 2019 period.

Sports Betting, iGaming Taking Shape

Wynn isn’t viewed as an online casinos/sports betting play on par with some of its rivals. But the company is quietly boosting its footprint in those fast-growing arenas.

WynnBET is currently operational in Colorado, Michigan, and New Jersey, and has “secured market access and have submitted an application for licensing in Indiana, have secured market access in Iowa and Ohio, have received conditional licensing in Tennessee, and have submitted an application for licensing in Virginia,” according to the company.

Online gaming revenue increased 50 percent quarter-over-quarter, and the Wynn Interactive unit is on a run rate of about $50 million, said Maddox. The operator is also looking to take a page from an oft-used playbook and procure a media partner.

“We have some very exciting media deals and partnership deals that we’re working on,” said the CEO. “So Wynn Interactive is a big focus of ours and we’re seeing all the right things that we were hoping that we would see right now in particular, with the revenues growing almost 50 percent over the last three months.”