Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings said the company was still committed to online gaming – despite earlier rumors of a cut-price sale – in its first-quarter 2022 earnings call.
The statement came after Wynn reported first quarter revenue of $953.3m (£772.5m/€903.7m), an increase of 29.4 % year over year.
Wynn Interactive generated $727 million in revenue.
The future of this interactive division was uncertain as in November 2021 Wynn and Austerlitz Acquisition Corporation canceled a deal that would have seen Wynn Interactive split off and merge with Austerlitz. The joint venture would then be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
The company said this was because it no longer plans to pursue the costly strategy of promoting the product online that it originally planned.
Earlier this year, Wynn was rumored to be planning a cut-price sale of its Interactive division for an estimated $500 million.
Asked about the company’s online goals and the Wynn Interactive division, Billings explained that Wynn is getting into the igaming business and expressed hope for the industry in the future.
“We were pleased with the activity during the quarter,” Billings said. “We really believe in the industry for the longer term.”
He noted that while spending had fallen for the interactive division, revenue had increased further, suggesting a less “irrational” market than in 2021.
Billings went on to add that sports betting is a big part of that belief in igaming, with the Massachusetts State Senate’s recent passage of a sports betting bill playing a part.
“Sports is where the majority of the addressable market is today,” Billings continued. “We have always viewed Massachusetts as an important event for Wynn Bet.”
“So with a reconciliation bill between the House and the Massachusetts Senate now, we’re gearing up to be there on day one, and it’s going to be a significant event for the company.”
Massachusetts is one of “two major catalysts” for Wynn’s online gaming division, Billings added, the other being other igaming states “where we feel like we have a distinct advantage based on the brand”.
“I think the goal for us is to recognize the ultimate potential total addressable market, our position in that market, and to reach that total addressable market in a prudent way that is ultimately beneficial to shareholders.”
Billings also spoke about the integrated development of the Wynn resort in the United Arab Emirates, which is taking place in partnership with property developer Marjan and RAK Hospitality.
“I get more and more excited about the opportunity with each iteration of this design,” he said. “The island, which is truly a blank canvas for us, presents incredible opportunities to do what we do best.”
Asked about potential competition in the market, Billings said he could not speculate that other emirates might also choose to allow an integrated resort, but added that Wynn did not need to be a single operator to succeed.
“We not only compete, but actually outweigh our weight in the most competitive market in the world, Las Vegas,” he said.
Yesterday Wynn and Marjan selected HKS Architects as design consultants for the multi-billion dollar property.