MGM credits regional and global reach, digital, and Marriott partnership as contributors to record Q1

Home » MGM credits regional and global reach, digital, and Marriott partnership as contributors to record Q1

MGM Resorts International’s earnings conference call Wednesday was marked by a slight change in presentation. Instead of CEO Bill Hornbuckle relaying the opening remarks, Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Halkyard first presented “a more focused recap of our results,” before turning the proceedings over to Hornbuckle.

“I’m the color commentary that Jonathan spoke to in his opening comment,” Hornbuckle joked when he spoke about five minutes into the call. “What I want to do and what I hope to do in the future on these (calls) is go through some of our top-line thoughts and reiterate things that I think are important.”

MGM reported $4.4 million in revenue for the first quarter of this year, a new quarterly record for the operator and a 13% year-over-year increase.

Hornbuckle attributed the quarterly record to the diversity of MGM’s businesses and its four key pillars: Las Vegas properties, regional properties, Macau, and the digital business. Hornbuckle also cited the collaboration between BetMGM and Marriott Bonvoy as a positive development.

“We booked approximately 75 percent over our expectations,” Hornbuckle said. “To date, we’ve booked over 140,000 room nights. And the most surprising thing to date has been the group business on the activity case in that segment, which was a little unexpected. They (Marriott) know a lot of people we didn’t know and we’re quite pleased by this.”

There is room for improvement, particularly regarding MGM’s digital interests. While stating that BetMGM is third in U.S. sports-betting revenue, Hornbuckle noted that they’re first among operators with brick-and-mortar sites. He also mentioned that BetMGM has launched single account single wallet “everywhere but in Nevada, and you’ll see that come to fruition between now and football season.

“There’s a lot of work to do there,” Hornbuckle admitted in terms of BetMGM operations. “We recognize a product deficiency, but I like the roadmap, I like the team, I like where we’re going. Outside of the U.S., LeoVegas (the Sweden-based online-gaming company acquired by MGM in 2022), particularly in Sweden, has seen a return. There was a whole relicensing procedure there that cost everyone, including us, and that was their primary market. So LeoVegas is on the rebound.”

Hornbuckle also noted BetMGM UK’s early success and having “established a real presence there.”

“Overall, our digital strategy remains the same,” Hornbuckle said. “At some point, we want to be self-sustaining with all site features, including producing our own games and our own product.”

Hornbuckle said the company is still interested in acquiring a gaming license in New York, but admitted to being “somewhat disappointed in the process. We’ve been there since 2015 or 2016. We’ll remain patient and focused. And the good news for us is we like our chances. The city of Yonkers has its full support behind us and we think that’s meaningful.”

Hornbuckle was also optimistic about possible expansions into the UAE, Thailand, and even Texas. He said expansion into the UAE will “probably come into fruition” and that Thailand’s prospects are “interesting” and dialogue there has been encouraging.

But any legalization of gambling in Texas, however tantalizing, is at present uncertain.

“I don’t want to get ahead of the curve in Texas,” Hornbuckle said. “If two or three states left in the U.S. are meaningful (in terms of legalizing gambling), Texas is one of them. Four big cities have been talked about there. Without giving away strategy, everyone’s got positioning and eyes on one of them, as do we. We continue to follow that, but I wouldn’t look for anything immediate there, frankly, particularly in terms of brick-and-mortar.

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