On November 18th, the Las Vegas Grand Prix made its first appearance in the city in 40 years and led to a record-breaking weekend for MGM Resorts International. The event marked the highest-grossing weekend in the history of the company, surpassing the revenue generated during the 2019 CES tradeshow. Jonathan Halkyard, the CFO of MGM, confirmed this at the Bank of America Leveraged Finance Conference and stated that the F1 race exceeded expectations in terms of casino volume, food and beverage sales, and overall guest experience.
Despite initial concerns and opposition from locals in the months leading up to the event, the Las Vegas Grand Prix proved to be extremely successful in terms of revenue generation. Halkyard highlighted that November 2023 is likely to be the best November on record for MGM’s Las Vegas hotel revenue. Additionally, he discussed MGM’s plans for capital spending, emphasizing that the company’s transformation to an operating structure is nearly complete, and capital will now be directed towards growth initiatives.
MGM is looking to expand its Empire City Casino in Yonkers, NY, and is also focusing on the development of an integrated resort in Osaka, Japan. Halkyard mentioned that the company has been repaying debt and using capital from real estate sales to repurchase shares, with plans to repurchase up to $2 billion worth of shares in the near future. Furthermore, he suggested that the company may issue high-yield debt in the future, but the primary focus will be on growth initiatives and additional share repurchases.
Regarding BetMGM, the partnership between MGM and Entain, Halkyard expressed the company’s commitment to making BetMGM as successful as possible. This comes at a time when Entain is facing challenges from activist investors and potential takeover advances, with BetMGM holding an investor day scheduled for December 4th.
Overall, the Las Vegas Grand Prix proved to be a major success for MGM Resorts International, and the company is now focusing on capital deployment for future growth opportunities.