MGM Resorts Confirms Nearly 63,000 Employees Furloughed in First Quarter Report

MGM Grand CasinoMGM Resorts International reported its first quarter earnings for 2020 after the stock market closed today, April 30. Despite raking in literally billions of dollars from slots and table games in the first two months of the year, closing casinos in March lead to net losses for shareholders.

Bill Hornbuckle, the Acting CEO and President of MGM Resorts, kicked off the earnings call by explaining how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted its properties around the world. In the wake of the global outbreak, MGM regretfully furloughed nearly 63,000 employees and suspended casino operations. However, the company and its partners have collectively raised $12.8 million to support employees in need and their immediate families. Furthermore, they’ve donated over $1 million in food and products to families in the United States affected by the pandemic.

MGM’s Revenues Decline Despite Raking it in From Slots

Understandably, the temporary closures resulted in a substantial decrease in income for the company. MGM reported consolidated net revenues of $2.3 billion, a 29% decline compared to the same quarter last year. MGM China reported a 63% decrease in net revenues. Consolidated operating income totaled $1.3 billion. The sale of Mandalay Bay and the MGM Grand Las Vegas resulted in a $1.5 billion gain for the company this quarter.

Compared to the same period in 2019, MGM saw a 16% increase in casino revenues from their Las Vegas Strip resorts in the first two months of this year. However, the closures in March led to a 12% decrease for the first quarter overall. MGM’s properties on The Strip ultimately netted $1.1 billion in casino revenues through March 31, 2020. The total handle for slots alone was $2,457,000,000! Considering MGM’s hold of the total wagered on slots was 9.4%, it’s no wonder they can afford to keep building casinos.

MGM Uncertain on Timeline for Reopening US Casinos

In the United States alone, MGM Resorts owns properties in Maryland, Michigan, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio. Accordingly, the company depends on the Governor of each state to provide guidance on how social distancing guidelines will impact its business operations in each state. Hornbuckle offered the following statement on MGM reopening its domestic casinos:

“It is still premature to predict the opening dates of our domestic properties. In the meantime, we are collaborating with public health officials, experts in epidemiology and biosafety, and both state and federal government to come up with a set of protocols that will help deliver a safe, secure environment for our employees and guests.”

MGM expects its “dry markets” (properties frequented by state residents) like Mississippi to rebound before its premiere “fly-in” destinations (cities like Las Vegas, NV, that attract domestic and international tourists).

MGM Is Looking Forward to Expanding Abroad

Despite the economic downturn, MGM Resorts was able to raise $750,000,000 in capital by issuing corporate bonds. Championing its strong liquidity, Bill Hornbuckle reassured investors the company’s long-term plans are still in motion. The supplemental report from the earnings call emphasized MGM’s focus on establishing a larger presence in sports betting and on-line gaming. Internationally, the company plans to grow its business in Macau and develop a new integrated resort in Japan.

It’s too soon to tell when MGM’s revenue will return to “normal” levels. However, casinos in Macau are open for business again and customer bookings for next year haven’t taken a hit. Clearly their clientele is just as ready for casinos to reopen as the company is.