Losses Pile Up For BetMGM In 2021 Q4, But Company Remains Bullish

BetMGM launched in the mega-market of New York on January 17, over a week behind other major sportsbooks. It took only three weeks, from January 8 to January 30, for New York to break the one-month record for sports handle. The state reported $1.6 billion in handle during this period, smashing the previous record set by New Jersey sportsbooks in October 2021. BetMGM rode this upswing to set single-state records for the company, including most registrations, first-time deposits, bet volume, and overall deposits.

In the first 23 days of being live, BetMGM New York has written over $78 million in bets and claimed 8.3% of the market. It still trails Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings in market share.

BetMGM Q4 And Total 2021 Earnings

In a press release preceding Wednesday’s earnings call, parent MGM reported 2021 fourth-quarter revenues associated with BetMGM were $267 million with full-year revenues of $850 million. However, MGM Resorts’ 50% share of BetMGM showed an operating loss of $57 million in Q4. This totaled $211 million in losses for BetMGM over the entire year.

On the earnings call, MGM CFO Jonathan Halkyard explained that despite the losses, the company views BetMGM as “one of the most attractive growth opportunities and one that will generate meaningful returns on the investment.”

Losses across the company impacted the adjusted earnings per share, as the organization’s hotels and casinos were impacted by Covid-19 restrictions. On average, the company saw 7 to 9% less attendance at the retail locations. MGM Macau was especially impacted by China’s strict travel restrictions. As Covid restrictions shift, the hopes are the attendance will grow through 2022 and be back at full strength in 2023.

Even with the losses in 2021, MGM leadership is optimistic about BetMGM. In 2021, the company claimed a 29% market share in iGaming and 18% market share in online sports in state the company is live. The company expects to maintain its market share in iGaming and grow its share in sports betting to around 20% to 25%.

BetMGM is live in 21 states, including New York and Louisiana, which both launched legal sports in January 2022. The company also launched in Puerto Rico on February 9, 2022.

BetMGM 2022 Outlook

BetMGM continues to grow in 2022, with an eye on Illinois and Ontario. The launch in the Canadian province on April 4, 2022 is expected to be one of the largest opportunities in North America this year. Analysts are predicting the province will be a sports market of $11 billion in handle and $800 million in operator revenue annually, and for the country to potentially generate a handle of more than $25 billion, as other provinces in Canada follow Ontario. MGM is also seeking a permit in New York State for 2022. 

By getting a share of the market in Ontario and increasing footprint in multiple states, BetMGM is forecasting $1.3 billion in net revenues from operations. The company aims to use this momentum to reach a positive EBITDA by 2023, which would indicate BetMGM profitability.

The company is also focused on leveraging its revamped rewards program, renamed BetMGM Rewards. The program allows online sports bettors to receive rewards towards in-person MGM Resort experiences with every bet they make. The program is extensive, allowing bettors to claim rewards for major events in Las Vegas and international destinations. The leadership expects that as more customers join the rewards program, they will double in long-run value to the company.

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