Caesars H1: Return of the King

In a rejoinder along the lines of good news, bad news, Caesars Entertainment, king of the old real-world gambling jungle, has seen an astonishing six-fold increase in H1 revenue – but, nevertheless, still recorded a US$352 million net loss (£253m/€297.5m).

Thanks to the return of near-normal on-the-floor casino gaming, entertainment and hospitality across its stateside sites this year, ending June 30, Caesars Inc. hit total revenue of US$4.29 billion (£3.08bn/€3.62bn), compared to the relatively paltry US$600 million (£431m/€507m) in shutdown-hammered H1 2020.

“Our second-quarter operating results improved significantly versus the first quarter of 2021 driven by continued strength in our regional markets and a dramatic improvement in results in our Las Vegas segment,” said Caesars Chief Executive Tom Reeg.

Casino and pari-mutuel betting were the stars of the floorshow during H1 with revenue of US$2.8 billion (£2.01bn/€2.36bn). Regional casino action pulled in US$2.68 billion (£1.92bn/€2.26bn), Vegas verticals US$1.35 billion (£970m/€1.14bn) and digital–boosted by the recent acquisition and integration of William Hill online expertise–US$125 million (£89.8m/€105.6m).

After the long Covid lockdowns of 2020, punters were, literally, hungry for action. Food and beverage revenue, for example, was up nearly 30 per cent to US$450 million (£323.37m/€380.35m), while hotel takings jumped nearly ten-fold to US$611 million (£439m/€516.4m).

Overall, adjusted revenue before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was US$1.54 billion (£1.1bn/€1.3bn), compared to US$1 million in H1 last year (£718,600/€845,235).

With the company paying US$1.12 billion (£804.8m/€946.6m) in interest payments during the half, Caesars still sits atop a mountain of debt calculated to be in the region of US$13.5 billion (£9.7bn/€11.41bn).

But it’s a summit the company is hoping to conquer with the aid of its brand new Caesars online betting app, powered by William Hill’s once-proprietary Liberty platform.

Already live in the states of Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, its launch in Arizona, Maryland and Louisiana is also poised for lift-off.

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