Former Nevada Gov. Sandoval Leaves Executive Position at MGM

Brian Sandoval at PodiumFormer Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval, who served as Nevada’s 29th governor from 2011-2019 and was succeeded by current Governor Sisolak, has announced that he will be leaving his executive position at MGM Resorts to pursue a position at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR).

Sandoval joined MGM in January 2019 and served as the company’s President of Global Gaming Development. He has applied to become president of UNR, according to Wednesday’s press release.

Acting CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle expressed his gratitude for Sandoval’s accomplishments and visible commitment during his time at MGM:

“We are grateful to Governor Sandoval for all that he has accomplished in his time at MGM Resorts. He helped to advance our efforts in Japan, in jurisdictions where we were seeking expanded access, and areas where we pursued sports betting opportunities.”

Sandoval returned the gratitude to MGM Resorts, saying that he was “grateful for the opportunity and privilege to have worked at MGM” and that after having accomplished his goals for the prestigious company, he would be focusing his energy and efforts into hopefully becoming UNR’s next president.

In his closing statement, he wished everyone “good health and safety during these challenging times.”

How MGM is Doing During the COVID-19 Crisis

Currently, all of MGM’s U.S. properties are closed, as well as every other casino in the country during the coronavirus closures.

The group has been experiencing “substantial losses” amid the coronavirus, with their market shares dropping and suffering from high group cancelations.

In the company’s casino and hotel update, they expressed the negative impact the pandemic has had on their operations, stating that the company had major operating losses in March and that they don’t “expect to see a material improvement until more is known regarding the duration and severity of the pandemic, including when the company’s properties can re-open to the public.”

Macau Properties are Open, but Visitation is at Low Levels

When COVID-19 first broke out in China, MGM’s Macau properties, along with the over 40 other Macau casinos, were forced to shut their doors for over two weeks to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Since then, Macau has reopened its casinos, but it hasn’t met that business has returned to normal.

MGM advised in a statement that the company’s Macau properties are another problem in and of itself, with visitation remaining at low levels, not to mention the travel constraints that continue to impact the gaming and tourism market as a whole.

MGM Looks to Cut Expenses During this Time

Not surprisingly, MGM has outlined its plans to cut operating costs to mitigate the losses they’ve incurred due to the global pandemic.

They’ve estimated that 60-70% of their domestic operating expenses are variable and that they would look to cut those variable expenses first. This includes hiring freezes, furloughs, and reduction of staff.

They also stated that they would freeze a minimum of 33% of their domestic capital spending projects this year.

Excluding its MGM China and MGM Growth Properties, MGM had approximately $3.9 billion in operating cash and cash investment balances as of March 26.

The company believes that with its “strong liquidity position, valuable unencumbered assets and aggressive cost reduction initiatives will enable it to fund its current obligations for the foreseeable future.”