MGM Announces Record Quarter To Kick Off 2024 In Earnings Call

Written By T.J. McBride on May 14, 2024
MGM Casino and lion signifies MGM's record first quarter revenues in 2024

In MGM Resorts International’s first-quarter earnings call, the company announced record results to kick off 2024.

Most of the talk centered around MGM’s international business and its attempts to return capital to shareholders.

Virginia online casinos are illegal, so any iGaming talk did not apply, and MGM does not operate a retail casino in the state. That being said, MGM is a Virginia online sports betting operator, which contributes to its regional business.

Virginia was not mentioned directly, but there was talk about the regional sector’s performance.

Las Vegas and China Stimulated MGM’s Record Results In Q1

MGM reported $4.4 billion of consolidated net revenue in the first quarter of 2024, which was 13% higher year over year.

Jonathan Halkyard, chief financial officer and treasurer for MGM Resorts International, said the record-setting first quarter was boosted by MGM’s success in Las Vegas and China.

“We achieved record results in the first quarter of 2024, driven by strong performance at MGM China and in Las Vegas, specifically at our luxury resorts properties.”

MGM generated $2.3 billion of net revenue in Las Vegas in the first quarter–a 4% increase compared to the first quarter of 2023. That growth pales in comparison with MGM China, which saw an increase of 71% year over year for net revenue. In 2023, MGM generated $618 million in revenue, skyrocketing to $1.1 billion in 2024.

MGM credited the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions in China for the big revenue increase.

MGM’s Regional Operations Saw 4% Drop in Revenue Year Over Year

MGM’s regional operations, which includes Virginia, saw a 4% dip in net revenue, from $946 million in first-quarter 2023 to $909 million in first-quarter 2024.

BetMGM Virginia contributed to that total and has shown consistent growth along with the market. Virginia sports betting is not reported by operator, but statewide handle jumped 25% year over year in February, which undoubtedly benefited MGM.

Even with the success in Virginia, there are two specific reasons for this slight dip.

One factor was the same for all operators: bad weather. January and early February brought heavy winter storms and other severe weather, such as flash floods, to Virginia and beyond. Caesars Entertainment pointed to bad weather for its dip in regional revenue as well.

Another reason for the year-over-year dip was that MGM sold the Gold Strike Tunica casino in Mississippi. This meant one fewer property generating revenue to boost the bottom line.

Major Focus On International Properties, Returning Capital to Shareholders

MGM’s international business and its intention to return capital to shareholders through repurchasing shares of stock were two of the company’s primary focuses in the first quarter.

MGM Resorts International Chief Executive Officer and President Bill Hornbuckle explained as much during the earnings call.

“Our strategic growth plan to drive sustainable free cash flow from our resort operations, develop free cash flow by investing in international digital and luxury integrated resorts, and return capital to shareholders through share repurchases continued to develop in the first quarter of 2024,” Hornbuckle said.

MGM wants to continue to focus on international resort properties in China, Japan and a list of other countries. That list includes Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, South America, and Eastern Europe.

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T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a writer and reporter based in Denver. He is a Nuggets beat writer and also covers the regulated gambling industry across the U.S. His byline can be seen at ESPN, FiveThirtyEight, Bleacher Report and more.

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