After a choppy 2020, Boyd Gaming’s optimistic about retail visitation rates as the company focuses on digital solutions in 2021.
Digital in the Center of Boyd’s Strategy in 2021
Boyd Gaming’s new-found commitment to online gambling will drive the company’s growth in the years to come, says Boyd CEO Keith Smith. With Covid-19 biting into the results of retail gambling operators, Boyd Gaming has joined Hard Rock and Las Vegas Sands Corp. in assessing the potential benefits of adopting a digital gaming product.
During a conference call this Tuesday Smith confirmed that the company is seeing strong returns from online gaming operations. Boyd has been able to position itself in the online gaming market thanks to its connection to FanDuel which has allowed the company to gain market access to Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and not least Pennsylvania.
Online sports betting alone added some $10 million last year, Smith said. Boyd is already exploring digital options through the BoydPay Wallet in Nevada. This cashless payment solution could be a harbinger of a new era for gambling establishments. With sports betting already a contributing factor, Boyd is planning on rolling out online casinos next.
Smith confirmed the news saying that an iGaming platform in Pennsylvania should contribute some $20 million in cash flow this year alone. Online gambling is a clear growth opportunity, the chief executive added, praising FanDuel’s own leadership position in the highly-dynamic market.
Drawing from FanDuel’s experience, Boyd is now looking to launch iGaming and interactive wagering opportunities in Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and Louisiana where the company already has a retail footprint.
Financial Results Are Just a Temporary Setback
Admittedly, these talks about ambitious changes came as part of a difficult announcement. Boyd Gaming posted $134.7 million in net losses in 2020 with revenue falling by 34.5% to $2.18 billion. Boyd experienced difficulties after the pandemic forced properties on shut-down and kept them down for months to follow.
Las Vegas, a driver of revenue, was down 73.9% in the fourth quarter, meaning recovery was expectedly slow. Without business travelers to feed off-Strip destinations, Boyd faced new difficult realities.
Yet, Boyd’s footprint is not negligible either with the company running or owning 28 casino properties across 10 states. The company is not giving up on its real estate portfolio either. Smith confirmed that visitations have started to climb back up, giving Boyd reassurances about the future.
With BoydPay’s mobile wallet now underway, Smith expects to see this solution roll out in Louisiana, Kansas and Pennsylvania by April this year. Delays may occur depending on how quick regulators issue approvals.
However, the company wants to see the wallet launched in every retail property. Cashless payment technology has received an endorsement from numerous companies in the United States. Those include IGT and the American Gaming Association (AGA), a trade group.