Hours ahead of its first-quarter earnings call, Bally’s Corp. announced a major managerial makeover.
Out is CFO Bobby Lavan, effective immediately, although the company assured investors that Lavan "will be available to management, as needed, to ensure a seamless transition.” Lavan’s reason for leaving was "to pursue other opportunities.”
Bally’s CEO Robeson Reeves gave Lavan the following sendoff, "I want to express my gratitude to Bobby for his leadership and contributions since joining Bally’s in 2021. Notably, Bobby led the acquisition, financing, and integration of Gamesys, which has been instrumental to the growth and diversification of our business. We wish Bobby all the best in his next chapter.”
His replacement will be Marcus Glover, pending regulatory approvals. A former president of Borgata in Atlantic City, Glover comes to Bally’s by way of QPSI, "a supply-chain and contract-packaging company,” according to his new employer. Glover has also been president of Beau Rivage, general manager of Horseshoe Cleveland and Thistledown Racino, and assistant general manager for Caesars Entertainment in both the St. Louis and Biloxi markets.
Glover holds a master’s degree from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and is a graduate of Morehouse College. Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim released a statement saying, "Marcus is an accomplished leader with a proven track record of driving business strategies and expertise in leading large integrated resorts and casino operations. I am confident that his experience and strong financial acumen make him the right leader to help Bally’s grow and achieve its long-term financial goals.”
Bally’s also beefed up its executive roster, adding H.C. Charles Diao as senior vice president of finance and corporate treasurer. Diao arrives at Bally’s from DXC Technology. A two-decade veteran of Wall Street, he’s a former partner at Bear Stearns. Like Glover’s, Diao’s appointment requires sundry regulatory approvals.
Not stopping there, Bally’s has created an Operational Committee of its board of directors and engaged Jaymin B. Patel, in his new role as vice chairman of the board, to run it. Cost reductions and streamlined operations will be the new committee’s focus, along with creating a new corporate center. A longtime member of the Bally’s board, Patel is a former CEO of GTECH and CFO of Lottomatica.
Bally's posts 9% revenue growth in Q1 driven by record Casinos & Resorts segment performanceBally’s Corporation has reported $598.7 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2023, up more than $50 million when compared to the same period last year. The 9.2% hike in revenue comes despite a shakeup of the firm’s sports betting operations and a negative impact from severe weather conditions that occurred in Lake Tahoe most of the quarter and in Evansville in late March.
The Rhode Island-based casino company reported a net income of $178.3 million, up from $1.9 million in the prior year’s first quarter. Adjusted EBITDA came in at $126.4 million, an increase of 10.2% year-over-year. Bally’s now expects full-year revenue in 2023 to range between $2.5 billion and $2.6 billion.
The Casinos & Resorts segment saw continued momentum across the firm’s portfolio, generating record revenue of $328.8 million and adjusted EBITDAR of $105.1 million. The International Interactive segment saw revenue up 7.2%, driven by increased activity in the UK, while the North America Interactive vertical outperformed during Q1 amid cost-saving initiatives.
"We are pleased to have achieved strong results across all three of our segments,” said Robeson Reeves, Bally's Chief Executive Officer. The executive noted that in North America, the company’s Interactive segment continues to be iGaming first, executing “extremely well” in New Jersey, where Bally’s market share surpassed 4%, on its way to achieving a 6-8% goal.
Bally's flagship Twin River casino in RI was upgraded in Q1
“As Ontario continues to progress, we look forward to our Pennsylvania launch in May as well,” added Reeves. “We are also closely monitoring the iGaming bill that was recently introduced into the Rhode Island legislature. Overall, our iGaming business is generating positive returns and we are very optimistic about the future of this business.”
The CEO also shared excitement over a recently announced partnership with online gaming solutions providers Kambi and White Hat Gaming to support the relaunch of Bally Bet, the firm’s online sports betting platform. Reeves noted these deals will allow Bally’s “to get this business back up and running in an effective and efficient manner."
For his part, George Papanier, Bally’s President, said the portfolio’s near-term capex cycle has peaked for the Casinos & Resorts segment as several of the firm’s growth projects have come to or are nearing completion. This includes an upgrade of the company’s flagship Bally's Twin River in Rhode Island, which was completed in April, and a Kansas City expansion that will conclude in July.