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Bally’s Corporation Latest Provider Reporting a Q1 Bump

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The marquee at Bally's Las Vegas. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

There has been little debate about the adverse impact of COVID-19 on our world’s economy. Businesses within the legal sports betting industry were especially hard-hit by lockdowns and the pause of sporting leagues around the world. But a string of quarterly reports from top-end gambling providers are showing that a betting rebound is already underway and the momentum from that rebound could take the US betting scene to new heights.

The latest provider to report out their Q1 numbers is Bally’s Corporation. Company expansion and the relaxation of COVID rules have resulted in a somewhat expected spike in profits for Bally’s with little reason to think handle and revenue growth will slow anytime soon.

George Papanier, President and CEO of Bally’s Corporation explained: “This was a remarkable first quarter for Bally’s. As COVID-19 vaccinations rolled out, and capacity restrictions and other protocols loosened, we experienced a strong rebound in demand that led to a significant increase in visitation.”

Getting Into the Numbers

Bally’s Corporation is reporting $192.3 million in revenues for the first quarter of their 2021 fiscal year. That is a 76.2% increase from the first quarter of last year and represents strongest three-month period since second quarter 2019.

Income off the revenues came in at $29.5 million which represents a 1,030% increase of $32.6 million from a loss of $3.1 million last year, during the COVID lockdowns. EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) for Q1 of this year was $52.5m, a 138% increase from the same period in 2020.

Net loss for the reporting period climbed to $10.7 million, 21.7% from $8.7 million from Q1 of 2020, largely due to the expansion of the business over the reporting period. In this case, a rise in the net loss isn’t such a bad thing.

Reasons Cited for the Increases

The loosening of COVID restrictions in the US and around the world is cited as the main driver of the increases in Bally’s Q1 financials. Simply put, with more visits to Bally’s casinos comes more revenue.

As CEO George Papanier said: “As we approach historical operating levels, we are encouraged by the performance at many of our properties this quarter, which when coupled with ongoing capital initiatives, offer tremendous growth opportunities and the potential to deliver strong results over the coming quarters.”

Q1 also proved that some prudent property and betting provider purchases by the company are starting to pay off. Casino KC, Casino Vicksburg, Bally’s Atlantic City and Eldorado Shreveport were singled out as properties acquired by Bally’s in the second half of 2020 that helped the company’s bottom line.

On the betting provider side, the Monkey Knife Fight purchase could be a game-changer for Bally’s. The third largest Daily Fantasy Sports provider in the country will certainly add to the Bally’s brand going forward. The fruits of Bally’s purchase of Sinclair Broadcasting’s and its 21 regional sports networks six months back have also started to bare fruit.

Of his company’s acquisitions, George Papanier said: “During this quarter, we also continued to implement our disciplined M&A strategy. We closed our acquisition of Monkey Knife Fight, the fastest growing daily fantasy sports site in North America, and acquired SportCaller, a leading global B2B free-to-play game provider.”

Deeper Into 2021

Bally’s is expected to continue their ascension up the legal sports betting provider ladder. Flush with $151.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and an added $250.0 million of available borrowings, the company’s moves within the sports betting space may just be getting started.

Bally’s had been a big name in the US legal betting scene before its recent moves. Adding a media wing (Sinclair Broadcasting), a DFS provider in Monkey Knife Fight, SportCaller and sports-betting platform Bet.Works should serve the company well going forward.

Like most of the legal sports betting world, Bally’s has shown resilience throughout the coronavirus pandemic. That resilience is finally paying off with soaring profits and a complete one-stop-shop brand that many within the industry can only dream of.