Money talks, and when those who handle the money talk, casino leaders listen.
Such was the case earlier this month when four experts gave Wall Street’s perspective of the gaming market during GameOn, a two-day conference for casino gaming operations executives across the country, presented by AGS at the MGM National Harbor near Washington, D.C.
The news was mostly good. They say casino fundamentals are strong, with a boost from table games. Some more mergers and acquisitions are forthcoming. And even though skill-based games have yet to provide a solid revenue source, investors will continue to be interested.
“The past couple of years, from a gross gaming revenue standpoint, it’s been at GDP or just a little short,” said Chad Beynon, an analyst with Macquarie Capital. “The trends are pretty positive, although earlier this year there were some weather issues in certain parts of the country. But the data we’ve seen so far is pretty good.”
Beynon said he also is encouraged by the upcoming gaming products he has viewed at shows.
“There’s a lot of good stuff out there,” he said, citing IGT’s new products, but adds projections can be indefinite until the games are actually played.
“If Whole Foods has a new lower priced concept and 1,000 units, that’s a tangible number you can put into your number. That doesn’t quite translate to our product.”
Brad Boyer, associate VP of equity research for St. Louis-based Stifel Nicholas, said investor sentiment is also strong, with a “nice tailwind” behind Macau, fueled by VIP play, as well a wave of consolidation.
And he agreed with Beynon, expanding on his thoughts.