In the event that the competition to secure the right to build a casino in New York comes down to who is willing to spend the most money, Caesars Entertainment has stated it won’t engage in a “arm’s race.”
Tom Reeg, the CEO, remarked “We believe we have the project that will open the quickest and will start paying New York taxes the quickest and an area that doesn’t need zoning approval. It’s already tourist focused, but I can assure you we’re not going to be the one who wins because we built the biggest housing development outside of our casino. We’re going to win this on the merits of the property and how quickly we can get open and how well it fits into the local environment. If it becomes an arms race of who’s going to spend the most money, we won’t win.”
The statement was made as Caesars reported conflicting numbers for the fourth quarter, which included revenue growth of 9% at its Las Vegas casinos operating with revenue growth of 11% in Las Vegas offsetting a slight decline in the regional division. Throughout the quarter, occupancy at its Las Vegas hotel increased to 95,5 %, first returning to pre-COVID levels.
Mr. Reeg said: “It’s hard to express how strong Vegas is right now. Occupancy in January was up more than 1,700 basis points over the Omicron-impacted 2022. As we look at forward bookings in Vegas, they’re strong and getting stronger. March sets up to be one of the best we’ve ever had in Las Vegas. As I sit here today, the business feels fantastic.”
Revenues for Caesars’ fourth quarter were $2.8 billion, up from $2.6 billion for the equivalent period the year before, bringing full-year revenues for the year ended December 31, 2022, to $10.8 billion from $9.6 billion. During the quarter, Caesars’ digital business revenue more than doubled to $232m.
As a result, the year’s net loss was $899 million as opposed to the same period last year’s net loss of $1 billion. Comparable prior-year period Adjusted EBITDA for the same stores was $3 billion as opposed to $3.2 billion.
Mr. Reeg added: “Our fourth quarter delivered another set of strong operating results as both our Las Vegas and Regional segments each set a new fourth quarter record for Adjusted EBITDA. Additionally, our Las Vegas segment set a new full-year record for Adjusted EBITDA. Caesars Sportsbook delivered significantly improved operating results during the fourth quarter which sets the foundation for a strong 2023. Consumer demand remains strong in all of our verticals and we are optimistic for the year ahead.”
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