During the three months ending March 31, 2021, Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment celebrated “an important quarter in the evolution” of the business, with the addition of Las Vegas, a key agreement in Connecticut, and critical approval in South Korea.
In the United States, the company also notes that its portfolio of assets has continued to show signs of recovery, with higher vaccination rates and less restrictions resulting in increased foot traffic.
MGE made the remarks as it revealed its financial results for the second fiscal quarter of 2021, during which net sales fell 11.5 percent to $278.6 million (2020: $314.7 million). Gaming, food and beverage, hotel, retail, entertainment, and other segments all saw revenue decrease year over year.
Overall visitation and gaming patterns continued to strengthen sequentially as vaccination rates improved and consumers returned to pre-COVID activity levels, bringing revenue at its flagship Mohegan Sun up 6.7 percent to $189 million (2020: $182.2 million).
Revenue fell 1.4 percent to $52.3 million (2020: $53.1 million) at Mohegan Sun Pocono, which was closed for the first three days of January. The property was said to have benefited from solid cost control measures introduced during the pandemic.
MGE Niagara Resorts’ revenue fell 57.4 percent to $13.8 million (2020: $71.2 million), reflecting the effects of the properties remaining closed for three months due to Ontario government COVID-19-related initiatives.
Adjusted EBITDA increased 57.3 percent to $80.7 million (2020: $51.3 million), compared to a loss of $106.3 million in 2020, largely due to a $126.6 million impairment charge at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Raymond Pineault, interim CEO said: “The March quarter was important in the evolution of MGE, as we opened the Mohegan Sun Casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas – representing MGE’s latest expansion and entry in the significant Las Vegas market.
“Continuing the trend of firsts, MGE, in partnership with the governor of the state of Connecticut and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, reached an agreement to allow online gaming and retail and mobile sports betting, which when approved by the Connecticut legislature, would expand MGE’s online footprint while providing further diversification to our business.
“Additionally, late in the quarter, MGE’s Inspire project in Incheon, South Korea received an important approval from South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, clearing the path to obtain financing for the project.”
Owing to company-wide COVID-19-related property closures in the corresponding prior-year period, the company’s second quarter results were easier to compare.
Consolidated net sales fell 9.4 percent in the second quarter of 2019, but adjusted EBITDA rose 20.1 percent, owing to lower operating costs and expenditures, including lower labour costs and marketing expenses.
MGE’s chief financial officer, Carol Anderson, added: “In the United States, our properties have continued to recover, as the rate of vaccinations increases and states continue to ease some COVID-related restrictions.
“At our flagship property Mohegan Sun, while revenues were below second quarter 2019 levels, which is the closest comparable due to property closures in the second quarter of 2020, adjusted EBITDA was $70m, 17.9 per cent favourable to the second quarter of 2019, while EBITDA margin was up 1,212 bps over the same period.
“Outside of Connecticut, performance at ilani in Washington State continues to surpass expectations, while Mohegan Sun Pocono and Resorts are seeing positive sequential momentum. Finally, we look forward to reopening the MGE Niagara Resorts as soon as we are given approval from the government.”