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Wynn talks up New York and Thailand plans after record Q1

| By Robert Fletcher
Wynn Resorts chief executive Craig Billings said the operator is actively considering options to establish land-based casinos in New York and Thailand to further expand its business and build on a record first quarter.
Wynn Q1

Q1 revenue at Wynn amounted to $1.86bn (£1.49bn/€1.73bn), up 30.8% from last year’s total. The group reported year-on-year growth across three of its four core areas: casino, food and beverage and rooms.

Alongside this, revenue was higher in each operating segment, covering Macau, Las Vegas in Nevada and Boston in Massachusetts. However, it was in Macau where Wynn reported the most growth.

Revenue at Wynn Macau jumped 78.5% and Wynn Palace 58.9%, with all remaining Covid-19 measures having been removed in the region in January 2023. The market continued to recover throughout 2023, with Wynn’s performance now approaching pre-pandemic levels.

In the US, Las Vegas revenue was up 8.5% while revenue at Encore Boston Harbor edged up 0.7%. 

As for other developments in the US, Wynn further rolled back its WynnBet digital offering, following the decision to scale back the brand in August last year. During Q1, Wynn sold its interactive New York sports betting licences to Penn Entertainment and ESPN Bet, while it also ceased operations in Massachusetts. WynnBet only remains in Michigan, although this is also under review.

Wynn eyes up new markets

While Wynn’s interactive venture looks to be petering out, its land-based business is going from strength to strength. Reflecting on Q1, Billings praised the performance, noting how momentum from 2023 continued into the quarter.

“The investments we have made in our properties, our team and our unique programming continue to extend our leadership position in each of our markets,” Billings said.

This week, Wynn also issued an update on its Wynn Al Marjan Island casino in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). New renderings for the venue have been released, with the group hoping to open the site in early 2027. The project will cost almost $4bn.

Billings also hinted at further expansion for Wynn, referencing potential launches in both New York and Thailand. New York looks to be the first possible new market for Wynn, with the operator considering an integrated resort in Hudson Yards. However, like other parties interested in New York, Wynn will have to wait until 2025 until a decision is reached on new casino licences in the state.

“We believe a full-scale Wynn integrated resort will drive meaningful incremental tax revenue, tourism and employment in the state,” Billings said. “Despite the elongation of the RFA submission process in New York, we remain intrigued by the prospect of a Wynn resort in Manhattan.”

As for Thailand, Billings admits it is “very early days” in the process of launching a casino in the country, with full details yet to emerge on regulations and licensing structures. However, he stressed Wynn is very much interested in making the move, with rival Las Vegas Sands having made similar remarks last month.

“Thailand is already a major tourism destination with significant tourism infrastructure and a world class service culture,” Billings said. “We will continue to closely monitor advancement of the legalisation process.”

Macau growth drives net profit up in Q1

Looking at how Wynn made money in Q1, casino operations led the way with revenue up 46.2% to $1.12bn. Rooms revenue increased 20.2% to $327.4m and food and beverage revenue climbed 14.8% to $266.9m. Revenue from entertainment, retail and other dipped 2.9% to $147.1m.

As for segmental performance, operations in Macau generated $998.6m in total revenue, or 53.6% of all revenue in Q1. Revenue was also higher across Las Vegas and Boston, but did not see anywhere near the growth levels of Macau as the market continued its recovery from the pandemic.

Turning to costs, total operating expenses in Q1 were 19.6% higher at $1.50bn. Casino costs were by far the main outgoing for Wynn at $675.4m, an increase of 42.7% year-on-year.

Wynn noted a further $166.4m in non-operating costs, meaning a pre-tax profit of $196.5m, up 8,831.8% from just $2.2m last year. 

Wynn paid $20.0m in tax and discounted $32.3m in profit from non-controlling interests. As such, it was left with a net profit of $144.2m, some 1,072.4% higher than $12.2m in Q1 of 2023. In addition, adjusted EBITDAR climbed 50.6% to a record quarterly high of $646.5m.

“I’m incredibly proud of all of our team members who remain so focused on delivering five-star service and one-of-a-kind experiences to our guests,” Billings said.

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