American Place’s Record Revenues Fuel Full House Resorts’ Q4 Growth

Written By Phil West on March 12, 2024
Pile of $100 bills for story on American Place in Waukegan fueling Full House Resorts' Q4 revenue growth

Full House Resorts has reported positive revenue generation in 2023 that’s carrying over to the current year — and Waukegan’s American Place is a big reason for that.

The temporary casino, which opened in February 2023 — described by PlayIllinois upon its opening as “certainly worth a visit” — had a starring role in Full House’s fourth-quarter earnings report last week.

Daniel R. Lee, president and chief executive officer of Full House Resorts, said of American Place:

“As expected, it continues to ramp up its operations. In December 2023, American Place reached a new monthly gaming revenue record of $8.2 million, as reported by the Illinois Gaming Board. It subsequently set a new monthly all-time record for revenues in February 2024, despite it being a short month. We expect American Place’s gaming revenues to continue to grow in 2024, with the property’s high-end North Shore Steaks & Seafood now open and overall awareness continuing to improve.”

American Place can operate temporary facility until August 2027

He added, regarding the plans for the casino’s new permanent home:

“American Place is currently in a temporary facility, built in less than one year after being chosen by the Illinois Gaming Board to develop this newly created license. We recently received the necessary approvals to operate the temporary facility until August 2027, providing us with meaningful additional time before the anticipated opening of the permanent American Place facility.”

Lee also noted, regarding the extension of the temporary facility:

“The state of Illinois recently passed legislation allowing us to operate our temporary facility until August 2027. This was because a tribal entity that operates a competing casino in Wisconsin filed a lawsuit against the city of Waukegan and the Illinois Gaming Board alleging that the tribe was not provided due consideration in its effort to obtain the Waukegan gaming license. We were chosen for that license after a robust public process, whereby an independent consultant hired by the city of Waukegan rated the tribal proposal as being inferior in most respects to all four of the other proposals, including that of Full House Resorts.”

Lee went on to explain that the company believes “the lawsuit is without merit,” with an Illinois Supreme Court ruling anticipated next year.

American Place’s role in Full House’s revenue growth

The earnings report revealed that in the fourth quarter of 2023, revenue was up 66.4% to $60 million, and it was up 47.6% for the year, with much of that credited to American Place. Though the net loss for the quarter was $12.5 million and $24.9 million for all of 2023, most of that was attributable to construction costs for Full House’s Chamonix resort in Cripple Creek, one of the principal gambling hubs in Colorado.

Full House anticipates an even rosier 2024 now that Chamonix is open for business. That resort, which opened Dec. 27, is an investment that’s reflected in the earnings report expenditures for 2023, but now that the majority of the work’s been done on the facility and it’s generating revenue, Lee expects that to be reflected in future earnings reports for Full House.

Lee said about Chamonix: “By design, it was a soft opening, with the casino, meeting rooms, and approximately 40% of the property’s guest rooms initially open.” But new amenities are coming online throughout 2024, adding to its revenue-generating potential.

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Phil West

Phil West is a longtime journalist based in Austin, Texas, whose bylines have appeared in The Daily Dot, Nautilus, Pro Soccer USA, Howler, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Chronicle. He has also written two books about soccer.

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