Macau Drives MGM Resorts Revenue Growth, Up 13% Year-Over-Year

Steven Melendez

Updated on:

Revenue at MGM Resorts International jumped to a record roughly $4.4 billion for the first quarter, up about 13% from the same quarter last year, thanks in large part to relaxed COVID-19 restrictions at its Macau properties.

The casino operator’s MGM China unit, which operates MGM Macau and MGM Cotai, saw net revenue of $1.1 billion, compared to $618 million last year, a 71% jump. The China unit’s casino revenue alone rose 66 percent to $920 million.

“We’re obviously very excited and pleased by what’s happened in China,” said CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle.

Still, net income was down to roughly $299.7 million from $479.8 million in the first quarter last year, a roughly 37.6% drop. In Las Vegas, room revenue jumped 10 percent to $827 million, thanks in part to February’s Super Bowl, the company’s luxury portfolio, and a licensing and reservations partnership with Marriott announced last summer that’s since brought in new guests.

“Marriott is off to a great start,” Hornbuckle said. “We’ve booked approximately 75% over our expectations, and to date, we’ve booked over 140,000 room nights…They do know a lot of folks that we didn’t know, and we’re quite pleased by that.”

Hornbuckle also expressed optimism about the growing number of sports stadiums near the MGM’s Vegas Strip properties. But Vegas casino revenue was essentially stagnant, falling less than a percentage point to $498 million from $501 million.

Weather woes, BetMGM

MGM’s regional unit, which operates U.S. casinos outside of Las Vegas, also saw a year-over-year casino revenue drop of roughly 4% to $685 million. The unit’s total net revenue dropped to $909 million from $946 million, which the company attributes to the casino revenue decline, poor January weather, and last year’s sale of the Gold Strike Tunica casino in Mississippi.

The company’s loss from BetMGM, the online betting joint venture with Entain plc, narrowed $32.6 million from $81.9 million last year. Hornbuckle, who referred to Entain interim CEO Stella David as “a breath of fresh air,” suggested results from BetMGM would continue to improve as the company implements new features. Those include new parlay betting options based on Entain’s recent acquisition of sports forecasting company Angstrom Sports and, by the end of the summer, expanded live dealer games. “We’ve recognized product deficiency,” said Hornbuckle. “But I like the roadmap, I like the team, I like the focus, and I like where we’re going.”

MGM also plans to extend the BetMGM brand into places where its LeoVegas online gaming unit, acquired in 2022, operates. In the long term, expanded iGaming into new states should drive growth, Hornbuckle said. “Obviously iGaming is the real opportunity opportunity over time,” he said. “There’s huge upside to that potential and we continue to push for that each and every day.”

The company also warned of continued costs from last year’s cyber attack. “The full scope of the costs and related impacts of this issue, including the extent to which all of the costs will be offset by cybersecurity insurance, has not been determined,” the company said in its quarterly report Wednesday.

During the first quarter, MGM repurchased about 12 million shares of stock at an aggregate cost of $511 million.