Despite posting fourth-quarter loss, Bally’s execs optimistic about 2021 prospects

Despite posting fourth-quarter loss, Bally’s execs optimistic about 2021 prospects

  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
March 4, 2021 9:00 PM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Other

In a conference call Thursday, Bally’s Corp. announced that revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020 fell 9.4% to $118.1 million from $130.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The fourth-quarter report was the first as Bally’s Corp. for the former regional gaming operator Twin River Worldwide Holdings. In November 2020, the Rhode Island-based company acquired the rights to and rebranded itself as Bally’s to take advantage of the historic gaming-industry name.

But Bally’s executives are upbeat about prospects for 2021 and beyond. Their optimism stems from an unprecedented number of acquisitions and partnerships the company made over the last year, including Wednesday’s recommendation by the Nevada Gaming Control Board to approve a license for Bally’s takeover of Montbleu Resort, Casino & Spa in Lake Tahoe.

Bally’s CEO George Papanier called 2020 “an incredible and transformative year” for the company.

“Through the various partnerships and strategic acquisitions we’ve announced, we’ve continued our evolution from a single-property operator in Rhode Island to a leading national player,” Papanier said.

Bally’s will eventually have 15 casino properties across 11 states, including recent acquisitions it made before its name change: Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino; the Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport, Louisiana; Casino Vicksburg in Mississippi; and Casino KC in Missouri.

Bally’s also acquired Bet.Works, a sports betting platform provider to operators in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana and Colorado; Monkey Knife Fight, a gaming platform daily fantasy sports operator and SportCaller, free-to-play sports game provider. And the company struck a media partnership with the Sinclair Broadcast Group in November 2020.

Net income in the fourth quarter of 2020 was $20.2 million, an increase of $6.9 million, from net income of $13.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Losses in the fourth quarter of 2020 totaled $17.6 million, a decrease of $46.7 million, or 160.8%, from the previous year. Revenue in the quarter was negatively impacted by various state mandates imposed due to COVID-19 health concerns, including the closure of both Bally’s Rhode Island properties for three weeks, and a $15.1 million charge, net of insurance recoveries, for storm damage from Hurricane Zeta at the Hard Rock Biloxi.

Despite those setbacks, Bally’s generated cash from operations of $17.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to $21.4 million for the same period 2019.

“We have continued to adapt and adjust to what are very dynamic and unpredictable market conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Papanier said.

Papanier added that when operations at all Bally’s properties were shuttered due to COVID-19 health concerns, the company took time to evaluate its holdings.

“We think that many of the efficiencies we were able to realize as a result of the shutdown are sustainable over the long term and will result in improved profitability at our properties going forward,” he said.

For 2020, the company reported a loss of $5.5 million. Revenue was reported as $372.8 million, a 28% decrease from $523.6 million in 2019.

Bally’s Corp. shares fell $8.31 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, a decline of 13.7% from the previous closing price, $60.61.

Rege Behe is lead contributor to CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at Please follow @RegeBehe_exPTR on Twitter.