Monarch revenues rise in first quarter as pandemic restrictions ease Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports · April 29, 2021 at 7:05 am Monarch Casino & Resort reached an all-time revenue high in the first quarter of 2021. In a statement Wednesday, the company reported net revenue at its properties in Reno, Nevada, and Black Hawk, Colorado, of $75 million, a 46.9% increase from the first quarter of 2020. “Our overall first-quarter performance demonstrated Monarch’s success in capturing a higher share of the pent-up demand that seems evident across the gaming industry – particularly in regional gaming markets,” Monarch Co-Chairman and CEO John Farahi said in a statement. Net income at the properties was $8.15 million, a 303.7% increase over the same period in 2020. Earnings per share for the quarter were 44 cents, up 300% from the 11 cents per share over the same period a year ago. Farahi noted that throughout the first quarter both the Atlantis in Reno and the Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk were under state-imposed capacity restrictions that “negatively impacted food and beverage performance. “ But casino, food and beverage, and hotel revenues increased 73.3%, 9.8%, and 34.6% respectively year over year due to the phased opening of the hotel and expanded casino at Black Hawk; a full quarter of operations at both properties (Black Hawk was shut down on March 17, 2020, and Atlantis on March 18, 2020); and higher guest spend per visit. Farahi emphasized the phased opening of operations, including an expanded casino floor, at the Black Hawk property that began in the fourth quarter of 2020, as critical to results. But as the company seeks to restore amenities at both properties, staffing issues remain. “A shortage of qualified applicants and wage pressure remain key challenges,” Farahi said. “Fortunately, investments in technology have allowed us to reduce the amount of labor that would have historically been required, while maintaining the expected guest service levels. The company is optimistic that Colorado’s Amendment 77, which allows unlimited single bets and new popular casino games, will boost profits going forward. “Given the overwhelming response to our new resort, we believe that Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk has already established itself as the premier destination gaming resort in the state and we are confident in our ability to take an outsized share of the market growth anticipated from the Amendment 77-driven changes,” Farahi said. Truist Securities gaming analyst Barry Jonas said Monarch’s strong results continued into April. “(With) the phased opening of the Black Hawk expansion, Monarch will benefit from this weekend’s implementation of Amendment 77 in Black Hawk, which could potentially see Black Hawk (cash flow) overtake Reno this year,” Jonas told investors According to the Associated Press, Monarch’s results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 41 cents per share. The casino operator’s revenue bested analyst projections of $62.5 million. Monarch Casino shares have risen 13% on the Nasdaq since the beginning of the year and have more than doubled in the last 12 months. Monarch Casino rose 50 cents, a 0.73% increase, to close at $68.90. Rege Behe is lead contributor to CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow @RegeBehe_exPTR on Twitter.