Parent Company Of Bally’s Chicago Reports Significant 4th Quarter Losses

Written By Dave Briggs on February 27, 2023
Bally's attributed the losses mostly to a $390.7 million write-down in the fourth quarter for its Bet.Works and Monkey Knife Fight assets.

Bally’s, the company building the largest Illinois casino, has reported a fourth-quarter loss of $487.5 million and a loss of $424.5 million for the entire 2022 fiscal year.

The results were announced last week.

Bally’s attributed the losses mostly to a $390.7 million write-down in the fourth quarter for its Bet.Works and Monkey Knife Fight assets.

Still, the losses are more concerning news for the company building the $1.7 billion Bally’s Chicago mega-casino.

In January, Bally’s reported it was laying off 15% of its employees in its interactive division due to it poor online sports betting results.

Illinois sportsbook likely on hold for Bally’s

Bally’s is not one of the seven legal Illinois sportsbooks, but it has applied to the Illinois Gaming Board for a license to offer sports betting.

Those plans likely have been delayed.

During a November earnings conference call, outgoing Bally’s CEO Lee Fenton said:

“Our progress on sports has taken longer than we expected and we will not support the sports iGaming markets with marketing dollars until we have got the user experience and the technology where we want it. We’ll be minimizing the losses related to sports betting – and in the end that’s what North America interactive should be.”

Lee resigned as CEO in mid-February due to “unacceptable” online results.

On the most recent earnings call, incoming Bally’s CEO Robeson Reeves said the company would be shifting its emphasis to its online casino business. Robeson, who will start as CEO on March 31, said the plan is to reposition its Bally Bet online sportsbook as more of a customer acquisition platform.

Online casinos the strength of Bally’s North American business

Meanwhile, Bally’s said the “highlights” of the most recent financials are:

  • Revenue of $576.7 million in the fourth quarter and $2.3 billion for FY2022, respectively.
  • Net loss of $487.5 million and $425.5 million, respectively, includes non-cash goodwill and asset impairment charges of $464.0 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $145.8 million and $548.5 million, respectively.
  • Adjusted EBITDAR of $164.4 million and $601.8 million, respectively.

Reeves said in a statement:

“We are pleased to have achieved record results in both our casinos and resorts and international interactive segments. Our core businesses continue to generate fantastic cash flows.

“UK revenue grew 12% organically in the fourth quarter as regulations continue to play through, while in December, Asia saw positive year-over-year organic growth, proving that our initiatives to maintain a competitive advantage in that market are effective.

Reeves also touted Bally’s increase in market share in both New Jersey and Ontario for the online casino segment of its business.

Bally’s Illinois casino still chugging ahead

Despite the recent setbacks, Bally’s Chicago casino project continues to make progress as it approaches the one-year anniversary in May of the announcement that it had won the city’s bidding process to build in the River West district.

In November, Bally’s purchased the Chicago Tribune printing plant for $200 million. The permanent casino will be built on the 30-acre property.

Then, in December, Bally’s casino zoning plan received approval from the Chicago City Council. Now, Bally’s is just waiting on the green light from the IGB. Then it will break ground on what would be the largest casino in Illinois.

Meanwhile, progress continues on getting a temporary Bally’s casino. It will open sometime in 2023 at the Medinah Temple site in River North.

Last week, the IGB unanimously approved supplier licenses for groups associated with the Medinah Temple. The first went to Medinah Building LLC, which oversees the building itself. The second went to Medinah Holdings LLC, which covers the land where the building is located.

The site will be the temporary location for the Bally’s casino. It will be open two-to-three years while the permanent facility is complete. Specifically, Bally’s is aiming to have the temporary location open in June of this year.

Building the permanent casino will create an estimated 3,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent job. The company has begun to reach out to find people for positions as table game dealers and other casino personnel.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Dave Briggs

Dave Briggs is a managing editor and writer for Catena Media. His expertise is covering the gambling industry in North America with an emphasis on the casino, sports betting, horse racing and poker sectors. He is currently reporting on the gaming industries in Illinois and Canada.

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