SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the transition period to
Commission File No. 001-36629
CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
100 West Liberty Street, 12th Floor
Reno, Nevada 89501
(Address of principal executive offices)
Telephone: (775) 328-0100
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading symbol||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common Stock, $.00001, par value||CZR||NASDAQ Stock Market|
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer ||☒||Accelerated filer ||☐||Non-accelerated filer ||☐|
|Smaller reporting company ||☐||Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by checkmark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was $21.1 billion at June 30, 2021 based upon the closing price for the shares of CZR’s common stock as reported by The Nasdaq Stock Market.
As of February 17, 2022, there were 214,123,451 outstanding shares of the Registrant’s Common Stock, net of treasury shares.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Portions of the Registrant’s definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A in connection with the Registrant’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “Proxy Statement”) are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report. Such Proxy Statement will be filed with the Commission not later than 120 days after the conclusion of the Registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.
CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2021
TABLE OF CONTENTS
In this filing, Caesars Entertainment, Inc., a Delaware corporation, is referred to as the “Company,” “CEI,” “Caesars,” or the “Registrant,” and together with its subsidiaries may also be referred to as “we,” “us” or “our.”
We also refer to (i) our Consolidated Financial Statements as our “Financial Statements,” (ii) our Consolidated Statements of Operations and Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss) as our “Statements of Operations,” (iii) our Consolidated Balance Sheets as our “Balance Sheets,” and (iv) our Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows as our “Statements of Cash Flows.” References to numbered “Notes” refer to Notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8.
Item 1. Business
We are a geographically diversified gaming and hospitality company that was founded in 1973 by the Carano family with the opening of the Eldorado Hotel Casino in Reno, Nevada. Beginning in 2005, we grew through a series of acquisitions, including the acquisition of MTR Gaming Group, Inc. in 2014, Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. (“Isle” or “Isle of Capri”) in 2017 and Tropicana Entertainment, Inc. in 2018. On July 20, 2020, we completed the merger with Caesars Entertainment Corporation (“Former Caesars”) pursuant to which Former Caesars became our wholly-owned subsidiary (the “Merger”) and we changed the Company’s ticker symbol on the NASDAQ Stock Market from “ERI” to “CZR”. On April 22, 2021, we completed the acquisition of William Hill PLC (the “William Hill Acquisition”).
Our primary source of revenue is generated by casino properties’ gaming operations, retail and online sports betting, as well as online gaming, and we utilize our hotels, restaurants, bars, entertainment, racing, retail shops and other services to attract customers to our properties.
We lease certain real property assets from third parties, including GLP Capital, L.P., the operating partnership of Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (“GLPI”) and VICI Properties L.P., a Delaware limited partnership (“VICI”).
As of December 31, 2021, we own, lease or manage an aggregate of 52 domestic properties in 16 states with approximately 55,700 slot machines, video lottery terminals and e-tables, approximately 2,900 table games and approximately 47,700 hotel rooms. We also operate and conduct sports wagering across 21 states and domestic jurisdictions, 14 of which are mobile for sports betting, and operate regulated online real money gaming in five states. We continue to expand into additional markets as jurisdictions legalize forms of retail and online sports betting. In addition, we have other domestic and international properties that are authorized to use the brands and marks of Caesars Entertainment, Inc., as well as other non-gaming properties. See Item 2, “Properties,” for more information about our properties.
Significant Transactions in 2021
On September 30, 2020, the Company announced that it had reached an agreement with William Hill PLC on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition pursuant to which the Company would acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital (other than shares owned by the Company or held in treasury) of William Hill PLC, in an all-cash transaction. On April 22, 2021, the Company completed the acquisition of William Hill PLC for £2.9 billion, or approximately $3.9 billion.
In connection with the William Hill Acquisition, on April 22, 2021, a newly formed subsidiary of the Company (the “Bridge Facility Borrower”) entered into a Credit Agreement (the “Bridge Credit Agreement”) with certain lenders party thereto and Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch, as administrative agent and collateral agent, pursuant to which the lenders party thereto provided the Debt Financing (as defined below). The Bridge Credit Agreement provides for (a) a 540-day £1.0 billion asset sale bridge facility, (b) a 60-day £503 million cash confirmation bridge facility and (c) a 540-day £116 million revolving credit facility (collectively, the “Debt Financing”). The proceeds of the bridge loan facilities provided under the Bridge Credit Agreement were used (i) to pay a portion of the cash consideration for the acquisition and (ii) to pay fees and expenses related to the acquisition and related transactions. The proceeds of the revolving credit facility under the Bridge Credit Agreement may be used for working capital and general corporate purposes. The £1.5 billion Interim Facilities Agreement (the “Interim Facilities Agreement”) entered into on October 6, 2020 with Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., and amended on December 11, 2020, was terminated upon the execution of the Bridge Credit Agreement. On May 12, 2021, we repaid the £503 million cash confirmation bridge facility. On June 14, 2021, the Company drew down the full £116 million from the revolving credit facility and the proceeds, in addition to excess Company cash, were used to make a partial repayment of the asset sale bridge facility in the amount of £700 million. Outstanding borrowings under the Bridge Credit Agreement are expected to be repaid upon the sale of William Hill’s non-U.S. operations including the UK and international online divisions and the retail betting shops (collectively, “William Hill International”), all of which are held for
sale as of the date of the closing of the William Hill Acquisition and reflected within discontinued operations. Certain investments acquired have been excluded from the held for sale asset group.
On September 8, 2021, the Company entered into an agreement to sell William Hill International to 888 Holdings Plc for approximately £2.2 billion. After repayment of the outstanding debt under the Bridge Credit Agreement, described above, the Company expects to receive approximately £835 million, or $1.2 billion, subject to any permitted leakage, which is customary for sale transactions in the UK. In order to manage the risk of changes in the GBP denominated sales price and expected proceeds, the Company has entered into foreign exchange forward contracts. The sale is subject to satisfaction of customary conditions, including receipt of the approval of shareholders of 888 Holdings Plc and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.
On April 6, 2021, the Company consummated the sale of the equity interests of MontBleu Casino Resort & Spa (“MontBleu”) to Bally’s Corporation for $15 million, subject to a customary working capital adjustment, resulting in a gain of less than $1 million. The purchase price for MontBleu is due no later than the first anniversary of the consummation of the transaction. MontBleu was within the Regional segment.
On June 3, 2021, the Company consummated the sale of the real property and equity interests of Tropicana Evansville (“Evansville”) to GLPI and Bally’s Corporation (formerly “Twin River” or Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc.), respectively, for $480 million, resulting in a gain of $12 million. Evansville was within the Regional segment.
On September 3, 2021, the Company consummated the sale of Caesars Southern Indiana to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (“EBCI”) for $250 million, subject to a customary working capital adjustment, resulting in a gain of $12 million. In connection with the transaction, the Company’s annual base rent payments to VICI Properties under the Regional Master Lease (as defined below) were reduced by $33 million. Additionally, the Company and EBCI extended their existing relationship by entering into a 10-year brand license agreement, with cancellation rights in exchange for a termination fee at the buyer’s discretion following the fifth anniversary of the agreement, for the continued use of the Caesars brand and Caesars Rewards loyalty program at Caesars Southern Indiana. Caesars Southern Indiana was previously reported within the Regional segment and subsequent to the sale, as a result of the license agreement relating to the continued use of the Caesars brand and Caesars Rewards loyalty program at Caesars Southern Indiana, is reported within the Managed and Branded segment.
On November 1, 2021, the Company and VICI consummated the sale of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Casino, Racing & Entertainment (“Harrah’s Louisiana Downs”) to Rubico Acquisition Corp. for $22 million, subject to a customary working capital adjustment. The proceeds from the sale were split between the Company and VICI. The annual base rent payments under the Regional Lease between Caesars and VICI remain unchanged.
On August 26, 2021, the Company increased its ownership interest in CBAC Borrower, LLC (“Horseshoe Baltimore”), a property which it also manages, to approximately 75.8%. Caesars was subsequently determined to have a controlling financial interest in Horseshoe Baltimore and we began to consolidate the results of operations of the property following our change in ownership. Our previously held investment was remeasured as of the date of our change in ownership and the Company recognized a gain of $40 million during the year ended December 31, 2021. Management fees received prior to the consolidation event have been presented within our Managed and Branded segment. Following the increase in ownership, the operations of Horseshoe Baltimore are presented within the Regional segment.
On December 1, 2020, the Company entered into an agreement to sell the operations of Belle of Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel (“Baton Rouge”) to CQ Holding Company, Inc. The transaction has received regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, subject to other customary closing conditions.
Developments related to COVID-19
In January 2020, an outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) was identified and spread throughout much of the world, including the U.S. All of the Company’s casino properties were temporarily closed for the period from mid-March 2020 through mid-May 2020 due to orders issued by various government agencies and tribal bodies as part of certain precautionary measures intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19. During the year ended December 31, 2021, most of our properties experienced positive trends as restrictions on maximum capacities and amenities available were eased.
Following temporary furloughs and salary reductions during 2020, the Company has emphasized a focus on labor efficiencies as operations resumed. As properties began to reopen during the year ended December 31, 2020, certain capacity restrictions, mask mandates, sanitation guidelines, and the federal COVID-19 vaccine and testing emergency temporary standard were adhered to as required by governmental or tribal orders, directives, and guidelines.
The Company experienced positive operating trends in 2021, with a continued focus on operational efficiencies. Although we have experienced a decline in net income, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margins for the year ended December 31, 2021 exceeded pre-pandemic levels experienced in 2019 within our Las Vegas and Regional segments. However, certain revenue streams, such as convention and entertainment revenues, continued to be negatively impacted due to capacity restrictions in the first half of 2021. Future effects of COVID-19 from further outbreaks, including new variants, mask mandates or other restrictions are uncertain and could result in additional closures such as the temporary closure of Caesars Windsor from January 5, 2022 through January 31, 2022. Extensive closure periods impacting many of our properties would have a material adverse effect on future results of operations.
Our consolidated business is composed of five complementary businesses that reinforce, cross-promote, and build upon each other: casino, which includes our online sports betting and iGaming, food and beverage, hotel, casino management services, retail and entertainment and other business operations.
Our casino operations generate revenues from approximately 55,700 slot machines and 2,900 table games, including poker, as well as other games such as keno, and race and online sportsbooks, all of which comprised approximately 61% of our total net revenues in 2021. Slot revenues generate the majority of our casino revenues.
Online Sports Betting and iGaming
We previously entered into a 25-year agreement with William Hill PLC’s U.S. subsidiary, William Hill U.S. Holdco, Inc. (“William Hill US” and together with William Hill PLC, “William Hill”), which became effective January 29, 2019, and granted to William Hill the right to conduct betting activities, including operating sportsbooks, in retail channels and under certain skins for online channels with respect to our current and future properties and conduct certain real money online gaming activities. On April 22, 2021, we consummated our previously announced acquisition of William Hill PLC in an all-cash transaction. Prior to the transaction, we accounted for our investment in William Hill PLC as an investment in equity securities we accounted for our investment in William Hill US as an equity method investment.
Prior to the acquisition, William Hill operated 37 sportsbooks at our properties in eight states. Subsequent to the William Hill Acquisition, we operate and conduct sports wagering across 21 U.S. states and domestic jurisdictions as of December 31, 2021. Additionally, we operate regulated online real money gaming businesses in five states and continue to leverage the World Series of Poker (“WSOP”) brand, and license the WSOP trademarks for a variety of products and services. Players in markets such as New Jersey can play hundreds of casino games including slots, table games, and video poker and we expect to similarly increase product offerings in Pennsylvania, Michigan and additional states as iGaming is legalized.
Extensive usage of digital platforms, continued legalization in additional states, and growing bettor demand are driving the market for online sports betting platforms in the United States and the William Hill Acquisition positioned us to address this growing market.
On August 2, 2021, we launched our Caesars Sportsbook app on our owned and integrated technology platform we have labeled Liberty (“Liberty”). We have launched a significant marketing campaign with distinguished actors, athletes and media personalities promoting the launch of the Caesars Sportsbook app. The app offers extensive pre-match and live markets, extensive odds and flexible limits, player props, and same-game parlays. Caesars Sportsbook has partnerships with the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and several individual teams, while being the exclusive odds provider for ESPN and CBS Sports. We continue to create new partnerships among collegiate and professional sports teams including the exclusive naming-rights partnership that rebranded the Caesars Superdome. Growth in the Caesars Digital segment continues to be realized with the expansion into new states as jurisdictions legalize retail and online sports betting.
Sports Brand Partnerships — Our strategy includes developing local and national partnerships that align our sportsbooks, casinos, resorts and brands with sports fans. In 2019, we announced high-profile exclusive sports entertainment partnerships with the NFL, making Caesars the first-ever “Official Casino Sponsor” in the history of the league. This historic partnership combines the NFL’s legendary events with our properties to bring unique experiences to Caesars patrons. This includes exclusive rights to use NFL trademarks to promote our properties, also enabling Caesars to host exclusive special events and experiences. Caesars will continue to host brand activations at prominent, high-profile NFL events, including the NFL Draft, NFL playoffs, and the Super Bowl during this multi-year partnership.
Food and Beverage Operations
Our food and beverage operations generate revenues from our dining venues, bars, nightclubs, and lounges located throughout our casinos and represented approximately 12% of our total net revenues in 2021. Many of our properties include several dining options, ranging from upscale dining experiences to moderately-priced restaurants, some of which offer pickup or in-room delivery options.
Hotel operations generate revenues from hotel stays at our properties in our approximately 47,700 guest rooms and suites worldwide and represented approximately 16% of our total net revenues in 2021. Our properties operate at various price and service points, allowing us to host a variety of casino guests, who are visiting our properties for gaming and other casino entertainment options, and non-casino guests who are visiting our properties for other purposes, such as vacation travel or conventions.
Management and Branding Arrangements
We earn revenue from fees paid for the management of four domestic casinos. Managed properties represent Caesars-branded properties where we provide staffing and management services under management agreements. In addition, we authorize the use of certain brands and marks of Caesars Entertainment, Inc. We earn revenue from brand license fees received based on the arrangements.
Entertainment and Other Non-Gaming Operations
We provide a variety of retail and entertainment offerings at our properties. We operate various entertainment venues across the United States, including the Colosseum at Caesars Palace and Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood. These award-winning entertainment venues host or have announced plans to host, prominent headliners, such as Adele, John Legend, Sting, Donny Osmond and Keith Urban.
The LINQ Promenade is an open-air dining, entertainment, and retail development located between The LINQ Hotel & Casino and Flamingo Las Vegas, which features The High Roller, a 550-foot observation wheel, and Fly LINQ, the first and only zipline on the Las Vegas Strip. The retail stores offer guests a wide range of options from high-end brands and accessories to souvenirs and decorative items.
CAESARS FORUM is a 550,000 square-foot conference center located at the center of the Las Vegas Strip. CAESARS FORUM features 300,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, the two largest pillarless ballrooms in the world, LEED silver-rating, and FORUM Plaza, the first 100,000 square-foot outdoor meeting and event space in Las Vegas. Though currently available for use with no restrictions, COVID-19 related restrictions limited our ability to utilize the convention center and meeting space at full capacity during the first half of 2021.
COVID-19 and Related Impacts — The extent of the ongoing and future effects of COVID-19 on our business and the casino resort industry and economy generally remains uncertain. While we experienced positive operating trends in 2021, we continued to see a prolonged impact of COVID-19 on the economy, our industry and our Company, with increased challenges arising from labor shortages, supply chain challenges, increasing costs of goods and services, inflation and rising interest rates, among other impacts. The continuing impact of COVID-19 and such related challenges on our business will depend on future developments, including but not limited to, the duration and severity of the outbreak or new variants, restrictions on operations imposed by governmental authorities, the potential for authorities reimposing stay at home orders, international and domestic travel restrictions or additional restrictions in response to continued developments with COVID-19, the Company’s ability to adapt to evolving operating procedures and maintain adequate staffing in response to increased consumer demand and discretionary spending, the efficacy and acceptance of vaccines in response to any potential new variants, and the Company’s ability to adjust its cost structures for the duration of the outbreak’s effect on our operations. We also expect that our business and the casino resort industry and economy generally will continue to be impacted by shortages of labor, supply chain challenges, increasing costs of goods and services, inflation and rising interest rates and that such impacts may intensify.
Online Betting and Gaming — Online betting and gaming is a rapidly developing sector of the e-commerce industry and we believe the digital segment of the global betting and gaming industry will continue to grow in popularity and consumer confidence. The market for online betting platforms is being driven by increased use of digital processes and global, growing bettor demand. We anticipate that the United States market will begin to have a strong and steady uptake in active wagers as
state-by-state legislation in the United States continues to evolve in response to recent legislation resulting in new opportunities in the United States sports betting market. The extent and future effects of online betting and gaming on our casino properties is uncertain but we expect that our online betting and gaming offering will be complementary to our brick-and-mortar casino business.
The casino entertainment business is highly competitive. The industry is comprised of a diverse group of competitors that vary considerably in size and geographic diversity, quality of facilities and amenities available, marketing and growth strategies, and financial condition. In most regions, we compete directly with other casino facilities operating in the immediate and surrounding areas. In Las Vegas, our largest jurisdiction, competition is expected to increase in the coming years. In response to changing trends, Las Vegas operators have been focused on expanding their non-gaming offerings, including upgrades to hotel rooms, new food and beverage offerings, and new entertainment offerings. There have also been proposals for other large scale non-gaming development projects in Las Vegas by various other developers. Our Las Vegas Strip hotels and casinos also compete, in part, with each other.
In recent years, many casino operators, including us, have been reinvesting in existing facilities, developing or rebranding new casinos or complementary facilities, and acquiring established facilities. These reinvestment and expansion efforts combined with aggressive marketing strategies by us and many of our competitors have resulted in increased competition in many regions. As companies have completed new expansion projects, supply has grown at a faster pace than demand in some areas. The expansion of properties and entertainment venues into new jurisdictions also presents competitive issues.
Our properties also compete with legalized gaming from casinos located on Native American tribal lands. While the competitive impact on operations in Las Vegas from the continued growth of Native American gaming establishments in California remains uncertain, the proliferation of gaming in California and other areas located in the same regions as our properties could have an adverse effect on our results of operations. In some instances, particularly in the case of Native American casinos, our competitors pay lower taxes or no taxes. In addition, certain states have legalized, and others may legalize, casino gaming in specific areas, including metropolitan areas from which we traditionally attract customers. These factors create additional challenges for us in competing for customers and accessing cash flow or financing to fund improvements for our casino and entertainment products that enable us to remain competitive.
We also compete with other non-gaming resorts and vacation areas, various other entertainment businesses, and other forms of gaming, such as state lotteries, on-track and off-track wagering, video lottery terminals, and card parlors. Our non-gaming offerings also compete with other retail facilities, amusement attractions, food and beverage offerings, and entertainment venues. Internet gaming and sports betting also create additional competition for our brick-and-mortar operations.
We face significant competition in our online sports betting and iGaming businesses in jurisdictions where we currently operate. Although we have experienced recent success in obtaining approval for sports betting and iGaming licenses in new jurisdictions, new state launches require significant upfront investment. Our investment into new markets is executed through promotional incentives, marketing and advertising spend to establish ourselves as an industry leader.
Resources Material to Business
We believe Caesars Rewards, with a network of more than 60 million people, enables us to compete more effectively and capture a larger share of our customers’ entertainment spending when they travel among regions versus that of a standalone property and engage in online wagering and gaming, which is core to our cross-market strategy.
Members who have joined Caesars Rewards can earn Reward Credits for qualifying gaming activity, including sports betting, online gaming and wagering, and qualifying hotel, dining and retail spending at all Caesars-affiliated properties in the United States, Canada and Dubai. Members can also earn additional Reward Credits when they use their Caesars Rewards VISA credit card or make a purchase through a Caesars Rewards partner. Members can redeem their earned Reward Credits with Caesars for hotel amenities, retail and online casino free play and other items such as merchandise, gift cards, and travel.
Caesars Rewards is structured in tiers (designated as Gold, Platinum, Diamond or Seven Stars), each with increasing member benefits and privileges. Members are provided promotional offers based on their Tier Level, their engagement with Caesars-affiliated properties, aspects of their retail and online casino gaming play, and their preferred spending choices outside of gaming. Member information is also used in connection with various marketing promotions, including campaigns involving direct mail, email, our websites, mobile devices, social media, and interactive slot machines.
Intellectual Property and Resources
We use a variety of trade names, service marks, trademarks, patents and copyrights in our operations and believe that we have all the licenses necessary to conduct our continuing operations. The development of intellectual property is part of our overall business strategy. We regard our intellectual property to be an important element of our success. We have registered several service marks, trademarks, patents and copyrights with the United States Patent and Trademark Office or otherwise acquired the licenses to use those which are material to conduct our business. We also own patents relating to unique casino games. While our business as a whole is not substantially dependent on any one patent, trademark, copyright, we seek to establish and maintain our proprietary rights in our business operations and technology through the use of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secret laws. We file applications for and obtain patents, trademarks, and copyrights in the United States and foreign countries where we believe filing for such protection is appropriate, including United States and foreign patent applications covering certain proprietary technology of Caesars Enterprise Services, LLC (“CES”). We also seek to maintain our trade secrets and confidential information by nondisclosure policies and through the use of appropriate confidentiality agreements. CES’ United States patents have varying expiration dates.
We have not applied for the registration of all of our trademarks, copyrights, proprietary technology, or other intellectual property rights, as the case may be, and may not be successful in obtaining all intellectual property rights for which we have applied. Despite our efforts to protect our proprietary rights, parties may infringe upon our intellectual property and use information that we regard as proprietary, and our rights may be invalidated or unenforceable. The laws of some foreign countries do not protect proprietary rights or intellectual property to as great of an extent as do the laws of the United States. In addition, others may independently develop substantially equivalent intellectual property.
We own or have the right to use proprietary rights to a number of trademarks that we consider, along with the associated name recognition, to be valuable to our business, including Eldorado, Silver Legacy, Isle, Lady Luck, Tropicana, Circus Circus, Caesars, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Horseshoe, Paris, Caesars Rewards, Caesars Sportsbook, William Hill, WSOP, and a license for the Planet Hollywood trademark used in connection with the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
Our Caesars Sportsbook and iGaming app is powered by our Liberty platform. We currently operate the Liberty platform in 14 mobile sports betting states. The Liberty platform resulted in a significant upgrade to our user interface and significant product upgrades including numerous pre-match and live markets, extensive odds and flexible limits, player props, and same-game parlays. Our Liberty platform also integrates customers with the Caesars Rewards loyalty program.
See Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” See also Exhibit 99.1, “Gaming Overview,” to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is incorporated herein by reference.
We believe that business at our regional properties outside of Las Vegas is subject to seasonality, including seasonality based on the weather in the markets in which they operate and the travel habits of visitors. Business in our properties can also fluctuate due to specific holidays or other significant events, such as Easter (particularly when the holiday falls in a different quarter than the prior year), the timing of the WSOP tournament (with respect to our Las Vegas properties), city-wide conventions, a large sporting event or a concert, or visits by our premium players. We also believe that any seasonality, holiday, or other significant event may affect our various properties or regions differently. We may also experience seasonality with retail and online sports betting which coincides with certain sporting events, as well as seasons of professional and collegiate basketball and football.
Gaming Licenses and Governmental Regulations
The gaming and racing industries are highly regulated, and we must maintain our licenses and pay gaming taxes to continue our operations. We are subject to extensive regulation under laws, rules and supervisory procedures. These laws, rules and regulations generally concern the responsibility, financial stability and characters of the owners, managers, and persons with financial interests in the gaming operations. If additional gaming regulations are adopted in a jurisdiction in which we operate, such regulations could impose restrictions or costs that could have a significant adverse effect on us. From time to time, various proposals have been introduced in legislatures of jurisdictions in which we have operations that, if enacted, could adversely affect the tax, regulatory, operational or other aspects of the gaming industry and us. We do not know whether or when such legislation will be enacted. Gaming companies are currently subject to significant state and local taxes and fees in addition to normal federal and state corporate income taxes, and such taxes and fees are subject to increase at any time. Any material increase in these taxes or fees could adversely affect us.
Some jurisdictions, including those in which we are licensed, empower their regulators to investigate participation by licensees in gaming outside their jurisdiction and require access to periodic reports respecting those gaming activities. Violations of laws in one jurisdiction could result in disciplinary action in other jurisdictions.
Under provisions of gaming laws in jurisdictions in which we have operations, and under our organizational documents, certain of our securities are subject to restriction on ownership which may be imposed by specified governmental authorities. The restrictions may require a holder of our securities to dispose of the securities or, if the holder refuses, or is unable to dispose of the securities, we may be required to repurchase the securities.
A more detailed description of the regulations to which we are subject is contained in Exhibit 99.1 to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is incorporated herein by reference.
Internal Revenue Service Regulations
The Internal Revenue Service requires operators of casinos and online sports betting apps located in the United States to file information returns for U.S. citizens, including names and addresses of winners for keno, bingo, slot machine and retail and online sports betting winnings in excess of stipulated amounts. The Internal Revenue Service also requires operators to withhold taxes on some keno, bingo, slot machine and retail and online sports betting winnings of nonresident aliens. We are unable to predict the extent to which these requirements, if extended, might impede or otherwise adversely affect operations of, and/or income from, other games.
Regulations adopted by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Treasury Department (“FINCEN”) requires the reporting of currency transactions in excess of $10,000 occurring within a gaming day, including identification of the patron by name and social security number. This reporting obligation began in May 1985 and may have resulted in the loss of gaming revenues to jurisdictions outside the United States which are exempt from the ambit of these regulations. In addition to currency transaction reporting requirements, suspicious financial activity is also required to be reported to FINCEN.
Other Laws and Regulations
Our businesses are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations in addition to gaming regulations. These laws and regulations include, but are not limited to, restrictions and conditions concerning alcoholic beverages, food service, smoking, environmental matters, employees and employment practices, currency transactions, taxation, zoning and building codes, and marketing and advertising. Such laws and regulations could change or could be interpreted differently in the future, or new laws and regulations could be enacted. Material changes, new laws or regulations, or material differences in interpretations by courts or governmental authorities could adversely affect our operating results.
The sale of alcoholic beverages is subject to licensing, control and regulation by applicable local regulatory agencies. All licenses are revocable and are not transferable. The agencies involved have full power to limit, condition, suspend or revoke any license, and any disciplinary action could, and revocation would, have a material adverse effect upon our operations.
We also deal with significant amounts of cash in our operations and are subject to various reporting and anti-money laundering regulations. Such laws and regulations could change or could be interpreted differently in the future, or new laws and regulations could be enacted. Material changes, new laws or regulations, or material differences in interpretations by courts or governmental authorities could adversely affect our operating results. See Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” for additional discussion.
Gaming companies are typically subject to significant taxes and fees in addition to normal federal, state and local income taxes, and such taxes and fees are subject to increase at any time. We pay substantial taxes and fees with respect to our operations. From time to time, federal, state, local and provincial legislators and officials have proposed changes in tax laws, or in the administration of such laws, affecting the gaming industry. It is not possible to determine with certainty the likelihood of changes in tax laws or in the administration of such laws.
We are subject to various federal, state and local environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including but not limited to air quality, indoor air quality, water quality, bulk storage of regulated materials, and disposal of waste, including hazardous waste. Such laws and regulations can impose liability on potentially responsible parties (owner/operators of real property) to clean up, or contribute to the cost of cleaning up, sites at which regulated materials were disposed of or released. In addition to investigation and remediation liabilities that could arise under such laws and regulations, we could face personal injury, property damage, fines or other claims by third parties concerning environmental compliance, contamination or exposure to hazardous conditions. Environmental regulatory violations also include monetary penalties assessed by the
jurisdictional regulatory agency and civil or criminal penalties for intentional negligence. Occasionally and under certain circumstances, we have investigated and remediated (or contributed to remediation costs) contamination located at or near our facilities. Examples included contamination related to underground storage tanks and groundwater contamination arising from prior uses of land on which certain facilities are located. In addition, we have and continue to contain, manage, and dispose of manure and wastewater generated by concentrated animal feeding operations due to our racetrack operations; manage, abate, or remove indoor air quality concerns such as mold, lead, or asbestos-containing materials; and manage operations within applicable environmental permitting requirements. Although we have incurred and expect to incur costs related to various environmental matters such as investigations, remediation, and management of hazardous materials or conditions known or discovered to exist at our properties, those costs have not had, and are not expected to have, a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flow.
There has been an increasing focus of international, national, state, regional and local regulatory bodies on greenhouse gas (“GHG”), including carbon dioxide and methane, emissions, and climate change issues. The United States is a member of the Paris Agreement, a climate accord reached at the Conference of the Parties (“COP 21”) in Paris, that set many new goals, and many related policies are still emerging. The Paris Agreement requires set GHG emission reduction goals every five years beginning in 2020. Stronger GHG emission targets were set at COP 26 in Glasgow in November 2021.
Future regulation could impose stringent standards to substantially reduce GHG emissions. Legislation to regulate GHG emissions has periodically been introduced in the U.S. Congress. The current Administration has taken steps to further regulate GHG emissions. Those reductions could be costly and difficult to implement or estimate.
Beyond financial and regulatory effects, the projected severe effects of climate change – such as property damage or supply chain issues stemming from extreme weather events – has already and may continue to directly affect our facilities and operations. Caesars recognizes the impacts of climate change and is engaged in long-term initiatives to identify, assess, and manage the risks and opportunities associated with climate change (see “Environmental Stewardship” below).
Reporting and Record-Keeping Requirements
We are required periodically to submit detailed financial and operating reports and furnish any other information about us and our subsidiaries that gaming authorities may require. We are required to maintain a current stock ledger that may be examined by gaming authorities at any time. If any securities are held in trust by an agent or by a nominee, the record holder may be required to disclose the identity of the beneficial owner to gaming authorities. A failure to make such disclosure may be grounds for finding the record holder unsuitable. Gaming authorities may, and in certain jurisdictions do, require certificates for our securities to bear a legend indicating that the securities are subject to specified gaming laws.
Human Capital Management
We aim to provide a workplace that is engaging, empowering, inclusive and respectful for all employees (our “Team Members”), embracing a culture of openness, passion for service and recognition. Our ongoing investment in professional training and development, safety, health and wellbeing and Team Member recognition linked to guest satisfaction are all important drivers of our success in delivering strong financial results and creating value for our communities. We have approximately 49,000 employees at our domestic properties throughout our organization.
Approximately 23,000 of our employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements with certain of our subsidiaries. The majority of these employees in various job positions are covered by the following agreements:
|Employee Group||Approximate Number of Active Employees Represented||Union||Date on which Collective Bargaining Agreement Becomes Amendable|
|Las Vegas Culinary Employees||11,500||Culinary Workers Union, Local 226||May 31, 2023|
|Atlantic City Food & Beverage and Hotel Employees||2,000||UNITE HERE, Local 54||May 31, 2022|
|Las Vegas Bartenders||1,300||Bartenders Union, Local 165||May 31, 2023|
|Las Vegas Dealers||2,100||United Auto Workers||September 30, 2023|
Team Member Engagement, Compensation, Benefits, Development, Safety and Wellbeing
We strive to inspire our Team Members through our mission, vision and values, and our Code of Commitment (described below). To evaluate our Team Member experience and our retention efforts, we monitor a number of employee measures, such as turnover rates and Team Member satisfaction. In 2021, we implemented new Team Member experience surveys to help us further understand the drivers of engagement and areas where we can improve. These surveys will be completed on a regular basis alongside additional surveys targeted at specific events within a Team Member cycle, including new hires, anniversary milestones and exit inquiries.
Our compensation and benefits programs are designed to attract, retain and motivate our Team Members. In addition to competitive salaries and wages, we provide a variety of short-term, long-term and incentive-based compensation programs to reward performance relative to key metrics relevant to our business. We offer comprehensive benefit options including, but not limited to, retirement savings plans, health insurance coverage (including medical, mental health, dental, vision and pharmacy), parental leave, educational assistance, training opportunities and company-paid life insurance.
We place utmost importance on creating a safe workplace for our Team Members, embedding procedures so that all our Team Members have the awareness, knowledge and tools to make safe working a habit.
We also have maintained a wellness program to help our Team Members improve their health and wellbeing. This program has demonstrated improved health metrics for participating employees and their covered family members helping reduce the cost of healthcare for Team Members and for the Company. Effective in 2022, we consolidated our group health plans and made significant enhancements to our offerings and wellness program including a wide range of affordable options, mental health initiatives and expanded onsite and virtual clinics across the US.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
We embrace diversity and aim to create an inclusive working environment that celebrates all our Team Members as individuals. Our diversity, equity and inclusion (“DEI”) framework identifies five pillars of activity: advocacy, Team Members, suppliers, communities and guests for a holistic approach to embedding DEI in everything we do. We publish our DEI data in our annual Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) report (described below). Currently, 45% of leadership roles in the Company are held by women and 43% are held by people of color, excluding the recent acquisition of William Hill. In addition, we set our new goals around gender and racial diversity with a target of 50% of leadership roles to be held by women and 50% of leadership roles to be held by people of color by 2025. We also commit to increase the representation of people of color in senior leadership by 50%. Furthermore, in 2021 we became the first gaming company named as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” in the 2021 Disability Equality Index.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Caesars’ Board of Directors (the “Board”) and senior executives view CSR as an integral element in the way we do business, in the belief that being a good corporate citizen helps protect the company against risk, contributes to improved performance and helps foster positive relationships with all those with whom we connect. The Board and our executive management are committed to being an industry leader in CSR (which includes diversity, equity and inclusion, social impact, and environmental sustainability). In 2021, the Board and our leadership continued to engage with our CEO-level external CSR Advisory Board comprised of experts representing DEI, business strategy, academia and investors, and used their guidance to confirm our CSR priorities. These priorities are reflected in our 12th annual CSR report, published in 2021 in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative Standards.
CSR Committee of the Board
Following the Merger in July 2020, Caesars’ Board formed a CSR committee that defines the duties and responsibilities of the Board in supporting delivery of our corporate purpose and CSR strategy as well as CSR-related aspects of corporate governance such as Board diversity.
Code of Commitment
Caesars is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and environmental steward through our CSR strategy, PEOPLE PLANET PLAY. This is reflected in our Code of Commitment which is our public pledge to our guests, Team Members, communities, business partners and all those we reach that we will honor the trust they have placed in us through ethical conduct and integrity. We commit to:
•PEOPLE: Supporting the wellbeing of our Team Members, guests and local communities.
•PLANET: Taking care of the world we all call home.
•PLAY: Creating memorable experiences for our guests and leading responsible gaming practices in the industry.
PEOPLE PLANET PLAY Strategy
Our PEOPLE PLANET PLAY strategy defines how we meet the obligations of our Code of Commitment and is aligned with global priorities articulated by the United Nations as the Sustainable Development Goals. PEOPLE PLANET PLAY establishes multi-year targets in key areas of impact, including science-based greenhouse gas emissions-reduction, formally approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (“SBTi”), aligning with global best practices on climate change action. We plan to complete a stakeholder analysis and comprehensive double materiality assessment in 2022, reflecting the latest sustainability and social trends, transparency demands and our business strategy that will also align with the investor community’s Environment, Social and Governance requirements. Following our stakeholder analysis and materiality assessment, we plan to revise our strategic goals under the PEOPLE PLANET PLAY framework, with the expectation that we will commit to additional multi-year targets beyond those we continue to advance.
For more than thirty years, Caesars has maintained its Responsible Gaming (“RG”) program. We train tens of thousands of Team Members each year and a cadre of RG Ambassadors throughout our properties to identify guests in need of assistance and provide support. In recent years, Caesars has contributed to the National Center for Responsible Gaming, the National Council on Problem Gaming and other state programs to help advance responsible practices in the gaming industry. Caesars Digital also maintains responsible gaming programs tailored to each state in which it operates and offers users in-application RG tools such as time on device restrictions and wagering limits.
Caesars maintains a comprehensive risk-based Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) program. It includes strong governance and effective internal controls and procedures to comply with applicable BSA requirements, regulatory guidance, and any related laws, and to take measures to prevent its affiliated casinos from being used for money laundering or other criminal activity. Execution of the program is governed with reference to FINCEN’s guidance on the Culture of Compliance. Caesars internal AML Policy, Know Your Customer Policy and BSA Identification Policy outline the Caesars AML Program and set the minimum standards for the related procedures and internal controls of the Caesars casino affiliates. Employees are required to complete annual trainings related company policies, including AML.
Caesars also maintains a Code of Ethics and Business Conduct (the “Code”) that includes standards designed to deter wrongdoing and to promote, amongst other standards, honest and ethical conduct and full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable disclosure in reports and documents that the Company files with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Caesars’ Chief Legal Officer serves as the compliance officer of the Code and Caesars provides periodic training regarding the contents and importance of the Code.
Caesars also maintains an Amended and restated Gaming Compliance Plan (the “Plan”), which is approved by various gaming regulators. The Plan is designed to oversee procedures to enhance the likelihood that no activities of the Company or any Affiliate will impugn the reputation and integrity of Caesars. The Plan and also establishes a Compliance Committee that assists the Company in implementing its strict policy that its business be conducted with honesty and integrity, and in accordance with high moral, legal and ethical standards. Caesars’ Assistant General Counsel & SVP – Regulatory & Compliance serves as the Compliance Officer as defined by the Plan.
We take a proactive approach to environmental sustainability through our CodeGreen strategy established by Former Caesars in 2007, consistently improving our performance across energy and GHG emissions efficiencies, reduction of water consumption and increasing waste diversion from landfills. Caesars recognizes the impact climate change can play both on our business and the guests we serve. Identifying, assessing, and managing the risks and opportunities therefore plays a vital role in our long-term strategic thinking on climate and water, and how we approach our CSR goals. Former Caesars adopted Science Based Targets (“SBTs”) as part of its strategy to reduce environmental impact. These targets, approved to be in line with well below 2
degrees Celsius per SBTi are (i) reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 35% by 2025, and 100% by 2050 from a 2011 base-year and (ii) having 60% of suppliers by spend institute science-based GHG reduction targets for their operations by 2023. In 2022, we expect to establish a new baseline to reaffirm GHG emission reduction goals as a combined company. For 2020, following the Merger, we modeled our GHG emissions data to create an estimate for 2018 and prior years back to 2011. This enabled us to compare our progress against our SBTs using actual data from 2019 and 2020 against a modeled 2011 base year. Between 2011 and 2020, Caesars estimated a reduction in absolute Scopes 1 and 2 GHG emissions of 36.1%. We recognize that 2020 was an atypical year with property closures and business interruptions resulting from COVID-19 that had a material impact on our results. Caesars is pursuing renewable energy sources and low-carbon options, including on site solar developments. Our long-term goals include a continued focus on energy efficiency and conservation as well as evaluating renewable energy supply opportunities for each of our properties in pursuit of our forthcoming SBTs.
We voluntarily participate in the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), an international nonprofit that runs a global disclosure system for investors, companies, and regions to manage their environmental impacts. In 2021, Caesars scored an A for water security and a B for climate change for our 2020 performance and earned a spot on the Supplier Engagement Leaderboard from CDP. Just 2% of companies assessed by CDP make the A List and only 8% make the Supplier Engagement Leaderboard.
We are engaged in extensive waste reduction efforts across our facilities, including recycling, food donation, and manure composting. In 2020, we diverted 45% of our total waste from landfills.
Caesars contributes extensively to our local communities to help them develop and prosper, through funding community projects, employee volunteering and cash donations from the Caesars Foundation, a private foundation funded from our operating income. In 2021, the Caesars Foundation contributed $1.8 million to communities across the United States. The Foundation also continued to support significant national relationships that support diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition, we donated $3.1 million generated from parking fees at Las Vegas properties to nine local nonprofit organizations. During 2020, our Team Members volunteered over 91,000 hours through the HERO program.
Many of our community partners are long-term collaborations. For example, we have many years of partnership with Meals on Wheels America to combat the issues of senior hunger and isolation. We also partner with Clean the World to reduce waste from soap bars and plastics from our hotel operations, and Boys and Girls Club of America to support the mission of enabling young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
We host national Economic Equity Tours through live webinars and on-line resources for thousands of women of color owned small businesses, and diverse non-profits. Expert-led webinars provided resources in the areas of financial empowerment, nonprofit organization development, and entrepreneurship. In Spring of 2022, we will host a DEI Summit, in alignment with our nonprofit and corporate partners, to support the advancement of inclusion and advocacy and promotion and support of DEI.
We are required to file annual, quarterly and other current reports and information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Because we submit filings to the SEC electronically, access to this information is available at the SEC’s website (www.sec.gov). This site contains reports and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.
We make our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our Current Reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to these reports, available free of charge on our corporate website (www.caesars.com/corporate) as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. In addition, our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct and charters of the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee are available on our website. We will provide reasonable quantities of electronic or paper copies of filings free of charge upon request. In addition, we will provide a copy of the above referenced charters to stockholders upon request.
References in this document to our website address do not incorporate by reference the information contained on the website into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This Annual Report on Form 10-K includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our strategies, objectives and plans for future development or acquisitions of properties or operations, as well as expectations, future operating results, trends and other information that is not historical information. When used in this report, the terms or phrases such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “projects,” “plans,” “intends,” “expects,” “might,” “may,” “estimates,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “will likely continue,” and variations of such words or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Specifically, forward-looking statements may include, among others, statements concerning:
•the impact of COVID-19 on our business and financial condition;
•projections of future results of operations or financial condition;
•expectations regarding our business and results of operations of our existing casino properties and prospects for future development;
•expectations regarding trends that will affect our markets and the gaming industry generally, including expansion of internet betting and gaming, and the impact of those trends on our business and results of operations;
•our ability to comply with the covenants in the agreements governing our outstanding indebtedness and leases;
•our ability to meet our projected debt service obligations, operating expenses, and maintenance capital expenditures;
•expectations regarding availability of capital resources;
•our ability to consummate the announced dispositions of William Hill International and Belle of Baton Rouge;
•our intention to pursue development opportunities and additional acquisitions and divestitures; and
•the impact of regulation on our business and our ability to receive and maintain necessary approvals for our existing properties and future projects and operation of online sportsbook, poker and gaming.
Any forward-looking statements are based upon underlying assumptions, including any assumptions mentioned with the specific statements, as of the date such statements were made. Such assumptions are in turn based upon internal estimates and analyses of market conditions and trends, management plans and strategies, economic conditions and other factors. Such forward-looking statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and are subject to change. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend upon future circumstances that may not occur. Actual results and trends may differ materially from any future results, trends, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we assume no duty to update forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by us or any other person that the forward-looking statements will be achieved. Undue reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statements. Some of the contingencies and uncertainties to which any forward-looking statement contained herein are subject include, but are not limited to, the following:
•the extent and duration of the impact of COVID-19, inflation, supply chain challenges and labor shortages on the Company’s business, financial results and liquidity;
•our ability to adapt to the very competitive environments in which we operate, including the online market;
•the impact of economic downturns and other factors that impact consumer spending;
•the impact of win rates and liability management risks on our results of operations;
•our reliance on third parties for strategic relationships and essential services;
•costs associated with investments in our online offerings and technological and strategic initiatives;
•risk relating to fraud, theft and cheating;
•our ability to collect gaming receivables from our credit customers;
•the impact of our substantial indebtedness and significant financial commitments, including our obligations under our lease arrangements;
•restrictions and limitations in agreements governing our debt and leased properties could significantly affect our ability to operate our business and our liquidity;
•financial, operational, regulatory or other potential challenges that may arise as a result of leasing of a number of our properties;
•the effect of disruptions or corruption to our information technology and other systems and infrastructure;
•the ability to identify suitable acquisition opportunities and realize growth and cost synergies from any future acquisitions;
•the impact of governmental regulation on our business and the cost of complying or the impact of failing to comply with such regulations;
•changes in gaming taxes and fees in jurisdictions in which we operate;
•risks relating to pending claims or future claims that may be brought against us;
•changes in interest rates and capital and credit markets;
•the effect of seasonal fluctuations;
•our particular sensitivity to energy prices;
•deterioration in our reputation or the reputation of our brands;
•potential compromises of our information systems or unauthorized access to confidential information and customer data;
•our reliance on information technology, particularly for our digital business;
•our ability to protect our intellectual property rights;
•the effect of war, terrorist activity, acts of violence, natural disasters, public health emergencies and other catastrophic events;
•our reliance on key personnel and the intense competition to attract and retain management and key employees in the gaming industry; and
•other factors described in Part II, Item 1A. “Risk Factors” contained herein and our reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K filed with the SEC.
In light of these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this report might not occur. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which this statement is made, even if subsequently made available on our website or otherwise, and we do not intend to update publicly any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date on which the statement is made, except as may be required by law.
You should also be aware that while we from time to time communicate with securities analysts, we do not disclose to them any material non-public information, internal forecasts or other confidential business information. Therefore, you should not assume that we agree with any statement or report issued by any analyst, irrespective of the content of the statement or report. To the extent that reports issued by securities analysts contain projections, forecasts or opinions, those reports are not our responsibility and are not endorsed by us.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Risks Relating to Operating Our Business
The outbreak of COVID-19 and COVID-19 related impacts have had, and are expected to continue to have, a significant impact on our operations and results of operations.
COVID-19 and mitigation measures recommended or required by public health officials to slow the spread of COVID-19 have materially adversely affected our operations. All of our casino properties were temporarily closed for the period from mid-March 2020 through mid-May 2020 due to orders issued by various government agencies and tribal bodies and, following re-opening of our properties, our operations have been affected by social distancing measures, including reduced gaming operations, limitations on number of customers present in our facilities, restrictions on hotel, food and beverage outlets and limits on events that would otherwise attract customers to our properties. While restrictions on our operations were eased in 2021 and we experienced positive operating trends during 2021, we continued to see a prolonged impact of COVID-19 on the economy, our industry and our Company, with increased challenges arising from labor shortages, supply chain challenges, increasing costs of goods and services, inflation and rising interest rates, among other impacts. The continuing impact of COVID-19 and such related challenges on our business will ultimately depend on future developments, including but not limited to, the duration and severity of the outbreak or new variants, restrictions on operations imposed by governmental authorities, the potential for authorities reimposing stay at home orders, international and domestic travel restrictions or additional restrictions in response to continued developments with the COVID-19 public health emergency, our ability to adapt to evolving operating procedures and maintain adequate staffing in response to increased customer demand, the impact on consumer demand and discretionary spending, the efficacy and acceptance of vaccines, and our ability to adjust our cost structures for the duration of any such interruption of our operations. The extent and duration of the impact of COVID-19 on our business is difficult to predict, but it could be significant and protracted, and we expect that our business and the casino resort industry and economy generally will continue to be impacted by shortages of labor, supply chain challenges, increasing costs of goods and services, inflation and rising interest rates and that such impacts may intensify.
We face substantial competition and expect that such competition will continue.
The gaming industry is highly competitive and competition is intense in most of the markets in which we operate. We compete with a variety of gaming operations, including land-based casinos, dockside casinos, riverboat casinos, casinos located on racing tracks and casinos located on Native American reservations and other forms of legalized gaming such as video gaming terminals at bars, restaurants and truck stops and online gambling and sports betting. We also compete, to a lesser extent, with other forms of legalized gaming and entertainment such as bingo, pull tab games, card parlors, sportsbooks, fantasy sports websites, “cruise-to-nowhere” operations, pari-mutuel or telephonic betting on horse racing and dog racing, state-sponsored lotteries, jai-alai and, in the future, may compete with gaming at other venues. In addition, we compete more generally with other forms of entertainment for the discretionary spending of our customers. In some instances, particularly in the case of Native American casinos, our competitors pay lower taxes or no taxes.
In recent years, many casino and online gaming operators, including us, have reinvested in existing jurisdictions to attract new customers or to gain market share, thereby increasing competition in those jurisdictions. In particular, we and other online betting and gaming operators have undertaken extensive marketing campaigns and made significant investments in customer acquisition through pricing and promotional policies. In addition, in response to changing trends, Las Vegas operators have been focused on expanding their non-gaming offerings, including upgrades to hotel rooms, new food and beverage offerings, and new entertainment offerings. The expansion of online betting and gaming in new jurisdictions and the growth of the number of competitors in the online betting and gaming market, the expansion of existing casino entertainment properties, the increase in the number of properties, and the aggressive marketing strategies of many of our competitors have increased competition in many markets in which we operate, and this intense competition is expected to continue. These competitive pressures have and are expected to continue to adversely affect our financial performance.
Our brick-and-mortar operations face increasing competition as a result of the expansion of legalized online gaming and betting, including our own online betting and gaming operations, in a number of the jurisdictions in which we operate. While we believe that we are well positioned to compete with new entrants to the betting and gaming market through our online betting and gaming offerings, the competitive dynamic is evolving and we cannot assure you that our results of operations will not be adversely impacted by the expansion of legalized online gaming and betting.
States that already have legalized casino gaming may further expand gaming, and other states that have not yet legalized gaming may do so in the future. We also compete with Native American gaming operations in California and other jurisdictions where Native American tribes operate large-scale gaming facilities or otherwise conduct gaming activities on Native American lands, which we expect will continue to expand. Further expansion of legalized casino gaming in jurisdictions in or near our
markets or changes to gaming laws in states in which we have operations and in states near our operations could increase competition and could adversely affect our operations.
Increased competition may require us to make substantial expenditures in marketing, customer development and capital projects to maintain and enhance the competitive positions of our online and brick and mortar operations to increase the attractiveness and add to the appeal of our facilities and product offerings. Because a significant portion of our cash flow is required to pay obligations under our outstanding indebtedness and our lease obligations, there can be no assurance that we will have sufficient funds to undertake, or that we will be able to obtain sufficient financing to fund, such expenditures. If we are unable to make such expenditures, our competitive position could be negatively affected.
Our business is sensitive to reductions in discretionary consumer spending as a result of downturns in the economy and other factors outside our control.
Consumer demand for casino hotel and racetrack properties and online betting and gaming is particularly sensitive to downturns in the economy and the associated impact on discretionary spending on leisure activities. Changes in discretionary consumer spending or consumer preferences brought about by factors such as perceived or actual general economic conditions, effects of declines in consumer confidence in the economy, the impact of high energy and food costs, the increased cost of travel, decreased disposable consumer income and wealth, fears of war and future acts of terrorism, or widespread illnesses or epidemics, including COVID-19, can have a material adverse effect on leisure and business travel, discretionary spending and other areas of economic behavior that directly impact the gaming and entertainment industries in general and could further reduce customer demand for the amenities and products that we offer. In addition, increases in gasoline prices, including increases prompted by global political and economic instabilities, can adversely affect our casino operations because most of our patrons travel to our properties by car or on airlines that may pass on increases in fuel costs to passengers in the form of higher ticket prices.
Win rates (hold rates) for our casino operations depend on a variety of factors, some of which are beyond our control, and participation in the sports betting industry exposes us to trading, liability management and pricing risks. We may experience lower than expected profitability and potentially significant losses as a result of factors beyond our control or a failure to accurately determine odds.
The gaming industry is characterized by an element of chance. Accordingly, we employ theoretical win rates to estimate what a certain type of game, on average, will win or lose in the long run. In addition to the element of chance, win rates (hold percentages) are also affected by the spread of table limits and factors that are beyond our control, such as a player’s skill, experience, and behavior, the mix of games played, the financial resources of players, the volume of bets placed, and the amount of time players spend gambling. As a result of the variability in these factors, the actual win rates at our casinos may differ from the theoretical win rates we have estimated and could result in the winnings of our gaming customers exceeding those anticipated. The variability of win rates (hold rates) also have the potential to negatively impact our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
Our fixed-odds betting products involve betting where winnings are paid on the basis of the amounts wagered and the odds quoted. Odds are determined with the objective of providing an average return to the bookmaker over a large number of events. However, there can be significant variation in gross win percentage event-by-event and day-by-day. We have systems and controls that seek to reduce the risk of daily losses occurring on a gross-win basis, but there can be no assurance that these will be effective in reducing our exposure to this risk. As a result we may experience (and we have from time to time experienced) significant losses with respect to individual events or betting outcomes, in particular if large individual bets are placed on an event or betting outcome or series of events or betting outcomes. Any significant losses on a gross-win basis could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, the odds that we offer in our sportsbook operations may occasionally contain an obvious error. Examples of such errors are inverted lines between teams, or odds that are significantly different from the true odds of the outcome in a way that all reasonable persons would agree is an error. If regulatory restrictions do not permit us to void or re-setting odds to correct odds on bets associated with large obvious errors in odds making, we could be subject to covering significant liabilities.
We rely on third parties to provide services that are essential to the operation of our online betting and gaming business, including, player account management, geolocation and identity verification, payment processing and sports data.
We rely on third parties to provide services that are essential to the operation of our online betting and gaming business, including player account management, geolocation and identity verification systems to ensure we comply with laws and regulations, processing deposits and withdrawals made by our online users and providing information regarding schedules, results, performance and outcomes of sporting events to determine when and how bets are settled. The software, systems and services provided by our third-party providers may not meet our expectations, contain errors or weaknesses, be compromised or
experience outages. A failure of such third-party systems to perform effectively, or any service interruption to those systems, could adversely affect our business by preventing users from accessing our online platform, delaying payment or resulting in errors in settling bets, which could give rise to regulatory issues relating to the operation of our business. By way of example, incorrect or misleading geolocation and identity verification data with respect to current or potential users received from third-party service providers may result in us inadvertently allowing access to our offerings to individuals who are not permitted to access them or otherwise inadvertently denying access to individuals who are permitted to access them, and errors or failures by our payment processors and sports data providers could result in a failure in timely and accurately process payments to and from users or errors in settling bets. Any such errors or failures could result in violations of applicable regulatory requirements and adversely affect our reputation and our ability to attract and retain our online users. Furthermore, negative publicity related to any of our third-party partners could adversely affect our reputation and brand, and could potentially lead to increased regulatory or litigation exposure.
In addition, if any of our third-party services providers terminates its relationship with us, is unable to maintain necessary regulatory approvals, or refuses to renew its agreement with us on commercially reasonable terms, we would have to find alternate service providers. We cannot be certain that we would be able to secure favorable terms from alternative service providers that are critical to the operation of our business or enter into alternative arrangements in a timely manner. Our digital business, results of operations and prospects would be adversely impacted by our inability or delay in securing replacement services that are sufficient to support our online business or are on comparable terms.
The growth of our digital business will depend, in part, on the success of our strategic relationships with third parties.
We rely on relationships with sports leagues and teams, media companies and other third parties in order to attract users to our offerings. In 2019 we entered into an exclusive sports entertainment partnership with the NFL, making us the first ever “Official Casino Sponsor” in the history of the league and in 2020, we partnered with ESPN to integrate their digital platforms with our sportsbooks. These relationships, along with providers of online services, search engines, social media, directories and other websites and e-commerce businesses direct consumers to our offerings. While we believe there are other third parties that could drive users to our online offerings, adding or transitioning to them may disrupt our business and increase our costs, and may require us to modify, limit or discontinue certain offerings. Furthermore, sports leagues, teams and venues may enter into exclusive partnerships with our competitors which could adversely affect our ability to offer certain types of wagers. In the event that any of our existing relationships or our future relationships fail to provide services to us in accordance with the terms of our arrangement, or at all, and we are not able to find suitable alternatives, this could impact our ability to cost effectively attract consumers and harm our online betting and gaming business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
The growth of our digital business will require investments in our online offerings, technology and strategic marketing initiatives, which could be costly and negatively impact the economics of our online business.
The online betting and gaming industry is subject to rapid and frequent changes in standards, technologies, products and service offerings, as well as in customer demands and preferences and regulations, which will require us to continually introduce and successfully implement new and innovative technologies, marketing strategies, product offerings and enhancements to remain competitive and effectively stimulate customer demand, acceptance and engagement. The process of developing new online offerings and systems is inherently complex and uncertain, and new offerings may not be well received by users, even if they are well-reviewed and of high quality. Developing new offerings and marketing strategies can also divert our management’s attention from other business issues and opportunities. New online offerings that attain market acceptance and aggressive marketing strategies implemented in the competitive online market environment could impact the mix of our existing business, including our casino business, or the share of our patron’s wallets in a manner that could negatively impact our results of operations. In addition, online betting and gaming operates in a competitive environment that requires significant investment in marketing initiatives, including free play and use of a variety of free and paid marketing channels, including television, radio, social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other digital channels. We cannot be sure that our investments in technology, products, service offerings and marketing initiatives will be successful or generate the return on investment that we expect. If new or existing competitors offer more attractive offerings or engage in marketing initiatives that are better received by customers, we may lose users or users may decrease their spending on our offerings. Further, new customer demands, superior competitive offerings, new industry standards or changes in the regulatory environment could render our offerings unattractive, unmarketable or obsolete and require us to make substantial unanticipated changes to our technology or business model. Failure to adapt to a rapidly changing market or evolving customer demands, and costs required to be incurred to react to dynamic market conditions, could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We face the risk of fraud, theft, and cheating.
We face the risk that gaming customers may attempt or commit fraud or theft or cheat in order to increase winnings. Such acts of fraud, theft, or cheating could involve the use of counterfeit chips or other tactics, possibly in collusion with our employees. Internal acts of cheating could also be conducted by employees through collusion with dealers, surveillance staff, floor managers, or other casino or gaming area staff. Additionally, we also face the risk that customers may attempt or commit fraud or theft with respect to our non-gaming offerings or against other customers. Such risks include stolen credit or charge cards or cash, falsified checks, theft of retail inventory and purchased goods, and unpaid or counterfeit receipts. Failure to discover such acts or schemes in a timely manner could result in losses in our operations. Negative publicity related to such acts or schemes could have an adverse effect on our reputation, potentially causing a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
We extend credit to a portion of our customers, and we may not be able to collect gaming receivables from our credit customers.
We conduct our gaming activities on a credit and cash basis. Any such credit we extend is unsecured. High-stakes players typically are extended more credit than customers who tend to wager lower amounts. High-end gaming is more volatile than other forms of gaming, and variances in win-loss results attributable to high-end gaming may have a significant positive or negative impact on cash flow and earnings in a particular period. We extend credit to those customers whose level of play and financial resources warrant, in the opinion of management, an extension of credit. These large receivables could have a significant impact on our results of operations if deemed uncollectible. Gaming debts evidenced by a credit instrument, including what is commonly referred to as a “marker,” and judgments on gaming debts are enforceable under the current laws of the jurisdictions in which we allow play on a credit basis, and judgments on gaming debts in such jurisdictions are enforceable in all U.S. states under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution; however, other jurisdictions may determine that enforcement of gaming debts is against public policy. Although courts of some foreign nations will enforce gaming debts directly and the assets in the U.S. of foreign debtors may be reached to satisfy a judgment, judgments on gaming debts from U.S. courts are not binding on the courts of many foreign nations.
In addition, in November 2017, the Chinese government adopted new rules to control the cross-border transportation of cash and bearer negotiable instruments, specifically to reduce the international transfer of cash in connection with activities that are illegal in China, including gambling. The Chinese government has recently taken steps to prohibit the transfer of cash for the payment of gaming debts. These developments may have the effect of reducing the collectability of gaming debts of players from China. It is unclear whether these and other measures will continue to be in effect or become more restrictive in the future. These and any future foreign currency control policy developments that may be implemented by foreign jurisdictions could significantly impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Acts of terrorism, war, natural disasters, severe weather, and political, economic and military conditions may impede our ability to operate or may negatively impact our financial results.
Terrorist attacks and other acts of war or hostility have created many economic and political uncertainties. For example, a substantial number of the customers of our properties in Las Vegas use air travel. As a result of terrorist acts that occurred on September 11, 2001, domestic and international travel was severely disrupted, which resulted in a decrease in customer visits to our properties in Las Vegas. Visitation to Las Vegas also declined for a period of time following the mass shooting tragedy on October 1, 2017. We cannot predict the extent to which disruptions in air or other forms of travel as a result of any further terrorist act, security alerts or war, uprisings, or hostilities in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and/or Syria or other countries throughout the world, and governmental responses to those acts or hostilities, will directly or indirectly impact our business and operating results. For example, our operations in Cairo, Egypt, were negatively affected from the uprising there in January 2011. A third party that is responsible for our player account management has employees in Ukraine and negative developments in Ukraine could negatively impact our digital business. As a consequence of the threat of terrorist attacks and other acts of war or hostility in the future, premiums for a variety of insurance products have increased, and some types of insurance are no longer available. If any such event were to affect our properties, we would likely be adversely affected.
In addition, natural and man-made disasters such as major fires, floods, severe snowstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, and oil spills could also adversely impact our business and operating results. Such events could lead to the loss of use of one or more of our properties for an extended period of time and disrupt our ability to attract customers to certain of our gaming facilities. For example, our property in Lake Charles, Louisiana has been closed since August 27, 2020 due to damage resulting from Hurricane Laura. Inadequate insurance or lack of available insurance for these and other certain types or levels of risk could expose us to significant losses in the event that a catastrophe occurred for which we are underinsured. In most cases, we have insurance that covers portions of any losses from a natural disaster, but it is subject to deductibles and maximum payouts in many cases. Although we may be covered by insurance from a natural disaster, the timing of our receipt of insurance proceeds,
if any, may be out of our control. In some cases, however, we may receive no proceeds from insurance. Further, if properties subject to our leases with VICI and GLPI are impacted by a casualty event, such leases require us to repair or restore the affected properties even if the cost of such repair or restoration exceeds the insurance proceeds that we receive. Under such circumstances, the rent under such leases is required to be paid during the period of repair or restoration even if all or a portion of the affected property is not operating. In addition to the damage caused to our properties by a casualty loss, we may suffer business disruption as a result of the casualty event or be subject to claims by third parties that may be injured or harmed. While we carry general liability insurance and business interruption insurance, there can be no assurance that insurance will be available or adequate to cover all loss and damage to which our business or our assets might be subjected and the timing and receipt of insurance proceeds, if any, may be out of our control.
Our business may be subject to fluctuations due to seasonality and other factors that could result in volatility and have an adverse effect on our operating results.
Our business may fluctuate due to seasonality and other factors. Our casino business is impacted by weather conditions that may deter or prevent customers from reaching the facilities or undertaking trips, which would particularly affect customers who are traveling longer distances to visit our properties. Our casino business can also fluctuate due to specific holidays or other significant events, such as Easter (particularly when the holiday falls in a different quarter than the prior year), the World Series of Poker tournament (with respect to our Las Vegas properties), city-wide conventions, a large sporting event or a concert, or visits by our premium players. Our sportsbook business may also be impacted by availability or scheduling of major sporting events or the cancellation or postponement of sporting events or races, including lockouts, strikes or similar disruptions. For example, our sports betting business could be adversely impacted if the 2022 Major League Baseball season does not begin on time or does not occur at all. Seasonality, holiday, or other significant events may affect our digital operations, properties or regions differently. These factors, among other things, could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and operating results, cause volatility in the trading price of our stock and impact our cash flow from quarter to quarter.
Our business is particularly sensitive to energy prices and a rise in energy prices could harm our operating results.
We are a large consumer of electricity and other energy and, therefore, higher energy prices may have an adverse effect on our results of operations. Accordingly, increases in energy costs may have a negative impact on our operating results. Additionally, higher electricity and gasoline prices that affect our customers may result in reduced visitation to our resorts and a reduction in our revenues. We may be indirectly impacted by regulatory requirements aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change directed at up-stream utility providers, as we could experience potentially higher utility, fuel, and transportation costs.
Any deterioration in our reputation or the reputation of our brands could adversely impact our business, financial condition, or results of operations.
Our business is dependent on the quality and reputation of our Company and brands. Events beyond our control could affect the reputation of one or more of our properties, including our digital operations, or more generally impact our corporate or brand image. Other factors that could influence our reputation include the quality of the services we offer and our actions with regard to social issues such as diversity, human rights and support for local communities. Broad access to social media makes it easy for anyone to provide public feedback that can influence perceptions of us, our brands or our properties. It may be difficult to control or effectively manage negative publicity, regardless of whether it is accurate. Negative events and publicity could quickly and materially damage perceptions of us, our brands or our properties, which, in turn, could adversely impact our business, financial condition or results of operations through loss of customers, loss of business opportunities, lack of acceptance of our company to operate in host communities, employee retention or recruiting difficulties or other difficulties.
Risks Relating to Information Systems and Technology
Compromises of our information systems or unauthorized access to confidential information or our customers’ personal information could materially harm our reputation and business.
We collect and store confidential, personal information relating to our customers for various business purposes, including marketing and financial purposes, and credit card information for processing payments. For example, we handle, collect and store personal information in connection with our customers staying at our hotels and enrolling in Caesars Rewards. We may share this personal and confidential information with vendors or other third parties in connection with processing of transactions, operating certain aspects of our business, or for marketing purposes. Our collection and use of personal data are governed by state and federal privacy laws and regulations as well as the applicable laws and regulations in other countries in which we operate. Privacy law is subject to frequent changes and varies significantly by jurisdiction. We may incur significant costs in order to ensure compliance with the various applicable privacy requirements. In addition, privacy laws and regulations may limit our ability to market to our customers.
We assess and monitor the security of collection, storage, and transmission of customer information on an ongoing basis. We utilize commercially available software and technologies to monitor, assess and secure our network. Further, some of the systems currently used for transmission and approval of payment card transactions and the technology utilized in payment cards themselves, all of which can put payment card data at risk, are determined and controlled by the payment card industry, and other such systems are determined and controlled by us. Although we have taken steps designed to safeguard our customers’ confidential personal information and important internal company data, our network and other systems and those of third parties, such as service providers, could be compromised, damaged, or disrupted by a third-party breach of our system security or that of a third-party provider or as a result of purposeful or accidental actions of third parties, our employees, or those employees of a third party, power outages, computer viruses, system failures, natural disasters, or other catastrophic events. Our third-party information system service providers face risks relating to cybersecurity similar to ours, and we do not directly control any of such parties’ information security operations. Advances in computer and software capabilities, encryption technology, new tools, and other developments may increase the risk of a security breach. As a result of any security breach, customer information or other proprietary data may be accessed or transmitted by or to a third party. Despite the measures we have implemented to safeguard our information, there can be no assurance that we are adequately protecting our information.
Any loss, disclosure of, misappropriation of, or access to customers’ or other proprietary information or other breach of our information security could result in legal claims or legal proceedings, including regulatory investigations and actions, or liability for failure to comply with privacy and information security laws, including for failure to protect personal information or for misusing personal information, which could disrupt our operations, damage our reputation, and expose us to claims from customers, financial institutions, regulators, payment card associations, employees, and other persons, any of which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flow.
We have cybersecurity insurance to respond to a breach which is designed to cover expenses around notification, credit monitoring, investigation, crisis management, public relations and legal advice. We also carry other insurance which may cover ancillary aspects of the event; however, damage and claims arising from a breach may not be completely covered or may exceed the amount of any insurance available.
Our operations, and particularly our digital betting and gaming operations, are reliant on information technology and other systems and services, and any failures, errors, defects or disruptions in our systems or services could adversely affect our operations.
Our technology infrastructure is critical to the performance of our digital betting and gaming operations and to user satisfaction and we rely significantly on our computer systems and software to receive and properly process internal and external data, including data related to Caesars Rewards. We devote significant resources to our technology infrastructure, but our systems may not be adequate to avoid performance delays or outages that could be harmful to our online business. In addition, we cannot assure you that the measures we take to prevent cyber-attacks and protect our systems, data and user information and to prevent outages, data or information loss, fraud and to prevent or detect security breaches will be sufficient to ensure uninterrupted operation of our digital platform and provide absolute security. We have experienced, and we may in the future experience, website disruptions, outages and other performance problems due to a variety of factors, including infrastructure changes, human or software errors and capacity constraints. Disruptions from unauthorized access to, fraudulent manipulation of, or tampering with our computer systems and technological infrastructure, or those of third parties that provide support to our operations, could result in a wide range of negative outcomes, each of which could materially adversely affect the operation of our online business and our financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Additionally, our computer systems and software may fail or may contain errors, bugs, flaws or corrupted data, and these defects may only become apparent after the launch of our online products. These types of issues could disrupt our operations or render a product unavailable when users attempt to access it or cause access to our offerings to be slower than our users expect. Inaccessibility or slow access to our products could make users less likely to return to our digital platform as often, if at all, or to recommend our offerings to other potential users, which could harm our brand perception, cause our users to stop utilizing our online offerings, divert our resources and delay market acceptance of our online offerings.
We expect that we will continue to expand our online betting and gaming offerings as our user base grows and we enter into new markets, which will require an enhancement of our technical infrastructure, including network capacity and computing power, to support the growth of our digital business and to satisfy our users’ needs. Such infrastructure expansion may be complex and costly, and unanticipated delays in completing these projects or availability of components may lead to increased project costs, operational inefficiencies, or interruptions in the delivery or degradation of the quality of our offerings. In addition, there may be issues related to our online infrastructure that are not identified during the testing phases of design and implementation and become evident after we have started to fully use the underlying equipment or software, which could impact the user experience or increase our costs. An inability to effectively scale our technical infrastructure to accommodate increased demands could adversely impact our ability to grow our digital betting and gaming business.
Our online business is dependent on the Internet and we rely on Amazon Web Services and other third-party technology, platforms and services to deliver our offerings to users.
A substantial portion of the infrastructure that is required to enable users to access our digital betting and gaming offerings is provided by third parties, including Internet service providers and other technology-based service providers. In particular, we currently host our online betting and gaming offerings and support our operations using Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) and other third-party technology, platforms and services. Our third-party providers may experience service interruptions, delays, outages or damage, including due to capacity constraints, an event causing an unusually high volume of Internet use (such as a pandemic or public health emergency), infrastructure changes or upgrades (such as 5G or 6G services), human or software errors, website hosting disruptions, natural disasters, cybersecurity attacks, terrorist attacks, power outages and similar events or acts of misconduct. We exercise little control over our third-party providers and any difficulties that these providers experience, including the potential of certain network traffic receiving priority over other traffic (i.e., lack of net neutrality), may adversely affect our business. Because our ability to provide our users with continuing and uninterrupted access to our platform is critical to the success of our digital business, we use our best efforts to ensure that our facilities and infrastructure and the facilities and infrastructure of our third-party providers support our current and expected operations and are designed to mitigate the impacts of system malfunctions. Nevertheless, there can be no guarantee that such systems will be able to meet the demand of our current and future digital business, the overall online betting and gaming industry and the growth of the Internet. Furthermore, if we do not maintain business relationships with our third-party providers, and in particular, AWS, we may not be able to secure required third-party services on terms that are acceptable to us or on an acceptable time frame. Any of these risks could result in a loss of revenue and cause us to incur unexpected costs that could be significant, which could have a material adverse effect on our online business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our online business model depends upon the continued compatibility between our apps and the major mobile operating systems and upon third-party platforms for the distribution of our product offerings, which depend on factors beyond our control such as the design of third-party operating systems and continued access to our apps on third-party distribution platforms like the Apple App Store.
Our digital business is dependent on the interoperability of our technology with popular mobile operating systems, technologies, networks and standards as our users access our online betting and gaming product offerings primarily on mobile devices. As a result, our business model depends upon the continued compatibility between our app and the major mobile operating systems, such as the Android and iOS operating systems, and we rely upon third-party platforms for distribution of our product offerings. We do not have formal or informal relationships with parties that control design of mobile devices and operating systems and there is no guarantee that popular mobile devices will start or continue to support or feature our product offerings. Any changes, bugs, technical or regulatory issues in such operating systems, our relationships with mobile manufacturers and carriers, or in their terms of service or policies that degrade our offerings’ functionality, reduce or eliminate our ability to distribute our offerings, give preferential treatment to competitive products, limit our ability to deliver high quality offerings, or impose fees or other charges related to delivering our offerings, could adversely affect our product usage and monetization on mobile devices. In addition, if any of the third-party platforms used for distribution of our product offerings were to limit or disable the availability of our app or advertising on their platforms, our ability to generate revenue could be harmed. These changes could materially impact the way we do business, and if we are unable to adjust to those changes quickly and effectively, there could be an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Risks Related to Human Capital
We rely on our key personnel and we may face difficulties in attracting and retaining qualified employees for our casinos and race tracks.
Our future success will depend upon, among other things, our ability to keep our senior executives and highly qualified employees. The operation of our business requires, qualified executives, managers and skilled employees with gaming and horse racing industry experience and qualifications who are able to obtain the requisite licenses and approval from the applicable gaming authorities. We compete with other potential employers for employees, and we may not succeed in hiring or retaining the executives and other employees that we need. A sudden loss of or inability to replace key employees could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Moreover, there has from time to time been a shortage of skilled labor in our markets and the continued expansion of gaming near our facilities, including the expansion of Native American gaming and internet betting and gaming, may make it more difficult for us to attract qualified candidates. While we believe that we will continue to be able to attract and retain qualified employees, shortages of skilled labor will make it increasingly difficult and expensive to attract and retain the services of a satisfactory number of qualified employees, and we may incur higher costs than expected as a result.
Work stoppages and other labor problems could negatively impact our future profits.
As of December 31, 2021, we had collective bargaining agreements covering approximately 23,000 employees. A lengthy strike or other work stoppages at any of our casino properties could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
From time to time, we have also experienced attempts by labor organizations to organize certain of our non-union employees. These efforts have achieved some success to date. We cannot provide any assurance that we will not experience additional and successful union activity in the future. The impact of this union activity is undetermined and could negatively impact our results of operations.
We cannot assure you that we will be able to retain our performers and other entertainment offerings on acceptable terms or at all.
Historically, our performers have drawn customers to our properties and have been a significant source of our revenue. We cannot assure you that we will be able to retain our performers or other shows on acceptable terms or at all. In addition, the third parties that we depend on for our properties’ entertainment offerings may become incapable or unwilling to provide their services at the level agreed upon or at all. Disruptions in the performance schedule can leave us without entertainment offerings, which could negatively impact our business.
Risks Relating to Our Capital Structure
Our substantial indebtedness and the fact that a significant portion of our cash flow is used to make interest payments and rent payments under our debt and lease agreements could adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations, limit our ability to react to changes in the economy or our industry and prevent us from making debt service payments and rent payments.
As of December 31, 2021 we had $14.3 billion of outstanding indebtedness, in addition to leases with VICI and GLPI that require an annual rent payment of $1.2 billion in 2022 and that are subject to annual escalation. See Note 10 for a description of our obligations under our leases with VICI and GLPI and Note 12 for details regarding our debt outstanding and related restrictive covenants. As a result, a significant portion of our cash flow is applied to make interest payments with respect to our outstanding debt and payments under our leases. These financial obligations may have important negative consequences for us, including:
•limiting our ability to use operating cash flow in other areas of our business because we must dedicate a significant portion of these funds to make payments on our debt and lease obligations;
•limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our businesses and the markets in which we operate;
•placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to competitors with debt and rent obligations that are less than ours;
•increasing our vulnerability to, and limiting our ability to react to, changing market conditions, COVID-19 and other public health emergencies, changes in our industry and economic downturns;
•limiting our ability to obtain additional financing to fund working capital requirements, capital expenditures, debt service, acquisitions, general corporate or other obligations;
•subjecting us to a number of restrictive covenants that, among other things, require us to make capital expenditures and limit our ability to pay dividends and distributions, make acquisitions and dispositions, borrow additional funds and make other investments;
•exposing us to interest rate risk due to the variable interest rate on borrowings under our credit facilities; and
•affecting our ability to renew gaming and other licenses necessary to conduct our business.
Certain of our debt facilities, including the CRC Revolving Credit Facility, mature in 2022. While we expect to refinance or replace our debt facilities when they mature, we cannot be sure that we will be able to obtain financing on commercially reasonable terms.
Despite our current indebtedness levels, we and our subsidiaries may still incur significant additional indebtedness. Incurring more indebtedness could increase the risks associated with our substantial indebtedness.
We and our subsidiaries may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness, including additional secured indebtedness, and may enter into financing obligations similar to our leases with VICI and GLPI in the future. As of December 31, 2021, we had $2.0 billion of borrowing capacity under our revolving credit facilities, before consideration of $23 million in outstanding letters of credit and $48 million committed for regulatory purposes under our CEI Revolving Credit Facility and $69 million in outstanding letters of credit under our CRC Revolving Credit Facility. Further, our existing debt agreements currently permit,
and we expect that agreements governing debt that we incur in the future will permit, us to incur certain other additional secured and unsecured debt. Further, we may incur other liabilities that do not constitute indebtedness. The risks that we face based on our outstanding indebtedness may intensify if we incur additional indebtedness or financing obligations in the future.
Our variable rate indebtedness exposes us to interest rate volatility, which could cause our debt service obligations to increase significantly.
Borrowings under certain of our facilities are at variable rates of interest and expose us to interest rate volatility. If interest rates increase, our debt service obligations on certain of our variable rate indebtedness will increase even though the amount borrowed remains the same. In addition, at the end of 2021, the administrator for London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) ceased publishing one-week and two-month U.S. dollar LIBOR and will cease publishing all remaining U.S. dollar LIBOR tenors in mid-2023. Concurrently, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority announced the cessation or loss of representativeness of the U.S. dollar LIBOR tenors from those dates. While we continue to monitor market developments to assess replacement rate options, the consequences of these developments with respect to LIBOR cannot be entirely predicted and may result in the level of interest payments on the portion of our indebtedness that bears interest at variable rates to be affected, which may adversely impact the amount of our interest payments under such debt.
A significant portion of our casinos are located on leased property. If we default on one or more leases, the applicable lessors could terminate the affected leases and we could lose possession of the affected casino.
We currently lease certain parcels of land on which a significant portion of our properties are located. As a ground lessee, we have the right to use the leased land; however, we do not hold fee ownership of the underlying land. Accordingly, we have no interest in the leased land or improvements thereon at the expiration of the ground leases. If our use of the land underlying our casino properties is disrupted permanently or for a significant period of time, then the value of our assets could be impaired and our business and operations could be adversely affected. Our leases provide that they may be terminated for a number of reasons, including failure to pay rent, taxes or other payment obligations or the breach of other covenants contained in the leases. In particular, our leases with GLPI and VICI require annual rent payments of $1.2 billion in 2022, which is subject to escalation annually, and obligate us to make specified minimum capital expenditures with respect to the leased properties. If our business and properties fail to generate sufficient earnings, the payments required to service the rent obligations under our leases with GLPI and VICI could materially and adversely limit our ability to react to changes in our business and make acquisitions and investments in our properties. If we were to default on any one or more of these leases, the applicable lessors could terminate the affected leases and we could lose possession of the affected land and any improvements on the land, including the hotels and casinos. A termination of our ground leases or our leases with GLPI or VICI could result in a default under our debt agreements and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Further, in the event that any lessor of our leased properties, including GLPI or VICI, encounters financial, operational, regulatory or other challenges, there can be no assurance that such lessor will be able to comply with its obligations under the applicable lease.
Certain of our leases, including our leases with GLPI and VICI, are “triple-net” leases. Accordingly, in addition to rent, we are required to pay, among other things, the following: (1) lease payments to the underlying ground lessor for properties that are subject to ground leases; (2) facility maintenance costs; (3) all insurance premiums for insurance with respect to the leased properties and the business conducted on the leased properties; (4) taxes levied on or with respect to the leased properties (other than taxes on the income of the lessor); and (5) all utilities and other services necessary or appropriate for the leased properties and the business conducted on the leased properties. We are responsible for incurring the costs described in the preceding sentence notwithstanding the fact that many of the benefits received in exchange for such costs shall in part accrue to the lessor as the owner of the associated facilities. In addition, we remain obligated for lease payments and other obligations under our leases with GLPI and VICI and other ground leases even if one or more of such leased facilities is unprofitable or if we decide to withdraw from those locations. We could incur special charges relating to the closing of such facilities including lease termination costs, impairment charges and other special charges that would reduce our net income and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Legal and Regulatory Risks
We are subject to extensive governmental regulation, taxation policies and licensing, and gaming authorities have significant control over our operations, which could have an adverse effect on our business.
Licensing Requirements. The ownership and operation of casino gaming, online betting and gaming, riverboat and horse racing facilities are subject to extensive federal, state and local regulation, and regulatory authorities at local, state and national levels have broad powers with respect to the licensing of gaming businesses. We currently hold all state and local licenses and related approvals necessary to conduct our present gaming operations, but we must periodically apply to renew many of our licenses and registrations. We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain such renewals. Any failure to maintain or renew our
existing licenses, registrations, permits or approvals would have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, we are required to provide information relating to our operations to various gaming regulatory agencies. A failure to provide accurate information could result in the imposition of fines or other penalties by the relevant regulatory authority. Furthermore, if additional laws or regulations are adopted or existing laws or regulations are amended or interpreted differently, these regulations could impose additional restrictions or costs that could have a significant adverse effect on us.
Gaming authorities with jurisdiction over our operations may, in their discretion, require the holder of any securities issued by us to file applications, be investigated, and be found suitable to own our securities, and, if a holder is found unsuitable, we can be sanctioned, including the loss of approvals that are required for us to continue our gaming operations in the relevant jurisdictions, if such unsuitable person does not timely sell our securities. Our officers, directors and key employees are also subject to similar findings of unsuitability and the gaming authorities may require us to terminate the employment of any person who refuses to file appropriate applications. See “Item 1 - Gaming Licenses and Governmental Regulations” and Exhibit 99.1 for further description of the regulations to which we are subject. We may be required under applicable gaming laws and regulations to obtain approval of applicable gaming authorities to issue securities, incur debt and undertake other financing activities and our financing counterparties, including lenders, might be subject to various licensing and related approval procedures in the various jurisdictions in which we operate gaming facilities.
Compliance with Other Laws. We are also subject to a variety of other federal, state and local laws, rules, regulations and ordinances that apply to non-gaming businesses, including restrictions enacted in response to COVD-19, zoning, environmental, construction and land-use laws and regulations governing smoking and the serving of alcoholic beverages. Our operations have been adversely impacted by regulations enacted to limit the spread of COVID-19. In addition, legislation in various forms to ban indoor tobacco smoking has been enacted or introduced in many states and local jurisdictions, including several of the jurisdictions in which we operate. If additional restrictions are enacted in our jurisdictions, we could experience a significant decrease in gaming revenue and operating results at our properties and, particularly if such restrictions are not applicable to all competitive facilities in that gaming market, our business could be materially adversely affected. The likelihood or outcome of similar legislation in other jurisdictions and referendums in the future cannot be predicted, though any additional limitations on our operations would be expected to negatively impact our financial performance.
Regulations adopted by FINCEN require us to report currency transactions in excess of $10,000 occurring within a gaming day. U.S. Treasury Department regulations also require us to report certain suspicious activity, including any transaction that exceeds $5,000, if we know, suspect or have reason to believe that the transaction involves funds from illegal activity or is designed to evade federal regulations or reporting requirements. Substantial penalties can be imposed if we fail to comply with these regulations. FINCEN has recently increased its focus on gaming companies.
We are required to report certain customer’s gambling winnings via form W-2G to comply with current Internal Revenue Service regulations. Should these regulations change, we would expect to incur additional costs to comply with the revised reporting requirements.
Taxation and Fees. In addition, gaming companies are generally subject to significant revenue-based taxes and fees in addition to normal federal, state and local income taxes, and such taxes and fees are subject to increase at any time. We pay substantial taxes and fees with respect to our operations. Tax laws are dynamic and subject to change as new laws are passed and new interpretations of the law are issued or applied, affecting the gaming industry. The large number of state and local governments with significant current or projected budget deficits makes it more likely that those governments that currently permit gaming will seek to fund such deficits with new or increased gaming taxes and/or property taxes and worsening economic conditions could intensify those efforts. Any material increase, or the adoption of additional taxes or fees, could have a material adverse effect on our future financial results.
The growth of our online betting and gaming business will depend on expansion of online betting and gaming into new jurisdictions and our ability to obtain required licenses.
Our ability to achieve growth in our online betting and gaming business will depend, in large part, upon expansion of online betting and gaming into new jurisdictions, the terms of regulations relating to online betting and gaming and our ability to obtain required licenses. Following the 2018 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the federal ban on sports betting, a number of jurisdictions have legalized sports betting and online gaming and we expect that additional jurisdictions may do so in the future. Our ability to further expand our sports betting and online operations is dependent on the adoption of regulations permitting such activities. However, the expansion of betting and online gaming in new jurisdictions is dependent on a number of factors that are beyond our control and there can be no assurances of when, or if, such regulations will be adopted or the terms of such regulations, including restrictions, tax rates and license fees and availability of such licenses to casino owners exclusively or at all.
We may not be able to protect the intellectual property rights we own or may be prevented from using intellectual property necessary for our business.
The development of intellectual property is part of our overall business strategy, and we regard our intellectual property to be an important element of our success. We rely primarily on trade secret, trademark, domain name, copyright, and contract law to protect the intellectual property and proprietary technology we own. We also actively pursue business opportunities in the United States and in international jurisdictions involving the licensing of our trademarks to third parties. It is possible that third parties may copy or otherwise obtain and use our intellectual property or proprietary technology without authorization or otherwise infringe on our rights. For example, while we have a policy of entering into confidentiality, intellectual property invention assignment, and/or non-competition and non-solicitation agreements or restrictions with our employees, independent contractors, and business partners, such agreements may not provide adequate protection or may be breached, or our proprietary technology may otherwise become available to or be independently developed by our competitors. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries may not protect proprietary rights or intellectual property to as great an extent as do the laws of the United States. Despite our efforts to protect our proprietary rights, the unauthorized use or reproduction of our trademarks could diminish the value of our trademarks and our market acceptance, competitive advantages, or goodwill, which could adversely affect our business.
Our technology contains software modules licensed to us by third-party authors under “open source” licenses. Use and distribution of open source software may entail greater risks than use of third-party commercial software, as open source licensors generally do not provide support, warranties, indemnification or other contractual protections regarding infringement claims or the quality of the code. In addition, the public availability of such software may make it easier for others to compromise our technology and, under certain open source licenses, we could be required to release the source code of our proprietary software to the public. This would allow our competitors to create similar offerings with lower development effort and time and ultimately could result in a loss of our competitive advantages.
Third parties have alleged and may in the future allege that we are infringing, misappropriating, or otherwise violating their intellectual property rights. Third parties may initiate litigation against us without warning or may send us letters or other communications that make allegations without initiating litigation. We may elect not to respond to these letters or other communications if we believe they are without merit, or we may attempt to resolve these disputes out of court by negotiating a license, but in either case it is possible that such disputes will ultimately result in litigation. Any such claims could interfere with our ability to use technology or intellectual property that is material to the operation of our business. Such claims may be made by competitors seeking to obtain a competitive advantage or by other parties, such as entities that purchase intellectual property assets for the purpose of bringing infringement claims. We also periodically employ individuals who were previously employed by our competitors or potential competitors, and we may therefore be subject to claims that such employees have used or disclosed the alleged trade secrets or other proprietary information of their former employers.
We may have to rely on litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights, protect our trade secrets, determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others, or defend against claims of infringement or invalidity, including with respect to technology that we believe to be “open source”. Any such litigation could result in substantial costs and the diversion of resources and the attention of management. If unsuccessful, such litigation could result in the loss of important intellectual property rights, require us to pay substantial damages, subject us to injunctions that prevent us from using certain intellectual property, require us to make admissions that affect our reputation in the marketplace, or require us to enter into license agreements that may not be available on favorable terms, re-engineer our technology or discontinue or delay the provision of our offerings. Finally, even if we prevail in any litigation, the remedy may not be commercially meaningful or fully compensate us for the harm we suffer or the costs we incur. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We rely on licenses to use the intellectual property rights of third parties which are incorporated into our products and services. Failure to renew or expand existing licenses may require us to modify, limit or discontinue certain offerings.
We rely on products, technologies and intellectual property that we license from third parties, for use in our business-to-business and business-to-consumers offerings. Certain of our offerings and services use intellectual property licensed from third parties and we expect that our future products will require the use of third-party intellectual property. The future success of our business may depend, in part, on our ability to obtain, retain and/or expand licenses for popular technologies and games in a competitive market. We cannot assure that third-party licenses that may be necessary or desirable for the operation of our products, or support for such licensed products and technologies, will be available to us on commercially reasonable terms, if at all. If we are unable to renew and/or expand existing licenses or obtain new licenses, including as a result of reluctance of third parties to subject themselves to regulatory review that may be required to operate as our supplier, we may be required to discontinue or limit our use of the products that include or incorporate the licensed intellectual property, which could adversely impact our business, results of operations and prospects.
We are or may become involved in legal proceedings that, if adversely adjudicated or settled, could impact our business and financial condition.
From time to time, we are named in lawsuits or other legal proceedings relating to our respective businesses. Some of these matters involve commercial or contractual disputes, intellectual property claims, legal compliance, personal injury claims, and employment claims. As with all legal proceedings, no assurances can be given as to the outcome of these matters. Moreover, legal proceedings can be expensive and time consuming, and we may not be successful in defending or prosecuting these lawsuits, which could result in settlements or damages that could significantly impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We cannot be sure that we will be able to dispose of the William Hill non-US operations on terms and conditions that are satisfactory to us or at all.
We previously announced that on September 9, 2021 we entered into an agreement to sell the William Hill International operations to 888 Holdings Plc (“888”) and that we intend to apply the proceeds of such sale to repay outstanding indebtedness. The transaction remains subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions, most notably 888’s publication of a prospectus and shareholder circular recommending shareholder approval of the transaction, and receipt of that approval from 888’s shareholders. There can be no assurance that the transaction will be completed on the previously agreed upon terms and timeline, or that we will be able to consummate a sale of William Hill International in the near future or at all. If we do not expect the closing of the sale of William Hill International by October 14, 2022, the date in which the Bridge Credit Agreement matures, we expect to refinance the outstanding indebtedness under the Bridge Credit Agreement. We cannot guarantee the success of such refinancing.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
As of December 31, 2021, the following are our properties, including domestic properties that were sold during the year. All amounts are approximations.
|Las Vegas Segment|
|Bally’s Las Vegas||Las Vegas, NV||68,400 ||840 ||60 ||2,810 |
|The Cromwell||Las Vegas, NV||41,600 ||400 ||30 ||190 |
|Flamingo Las Vegas||Las Vegas, NV||72,300 ||800 ||60 ||3,450 |
|The LINQ Hotel & Casino||Las Vegas, NV||36,300 ||560 ||40 ||2,240 |
|Paris Las Vegas||Las Vegas, NV||95,300 ||870 ||80 ||2,920 |
|Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino||Las Vegas, NV||64,500 ||970 ||80 ||2,500 |
|Caesars Palace Las Vegas||Las Vegas, NV||124,200 ||1,400 ||180 ||3,970 |
|Harrah’s Las Vegas||Las Vegas, NV||88,800 ||1,070 ||60 ||2,540 |
|Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino||Las Vegas, NV||117,300 ||1,030 ||50 ||2,520 |
|Circus Circus Reno||Reno, NV||65,500 ||500 ||10 ||1,570 |
|Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs||Columbus, OH||108,400 ||2,120 ||— ||— |
|Eldorado Resort Casino Reno||Reno, NV||70,000 ||920 ||40 ||810 |
|Grand Victoria Casino||Elgin, IL||35,600 ||850 ||40 ||— |
|Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino||Anderson, IN||55,300 ||1,300 ||30 ||— |
Horseshoe Baltimore (a)
|Baltimore, MD||133,300 ||1,600 ||210 ||— |
|Indiana Grand||Shelbyville, IN||80,100 ||1,480 ||70 ||— |
|Isle of Capri Casino Boonville||Boonville, MO||28,000 ||830 ||20 ||140 |
Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Lake Charles (b)
|Westlake, LA||26,200 ||1,180 ||50 ||490 |
|Isle of Capri Casino Lula||Lula, MS||57,000 ||860 ||20 ||170 |
|Isle Casino Hotel - Black Hawk||Black Hawk, CO||26,900 ||800 ||30 ||400 |
|Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park||Pompano Beach, FL||54,800 ||1,160 ||40 ||— |
|Lady Luck Casino - Black Hawk||Black Hawk, CO||14,500 ||390 ||10 ||— |
|Silver Legacy Resort Casino||Reno, NV||90,100 ||900 ||60 ||1,680 |
Tropicana Evansville (c)
|Evansville, IN||46,300 ||720 ||20 ||— |
Belle of Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel (c)
|Baton Rouge, LA||28,500 ||570 ||— ||290 |
|Caesars Atlantic City||Atlantic City, NJ||113,400 ||1,900 ||130 ||1,150 |
|Harrah’s Atlantic City||Atlantic City, NJ||150,100 ||1,860 ||130 ||2,590 |
|Harrah’s Council Bluffs||Council Bluffs, IA||23,100 ||510 ||20 ||250 |
|Harrah’s Gulf Coast||Biloxi, MS||31,900 ||600 ||30 ||500 |
|Harrah’s Joliet||Joliet, IL||39,000 ||880 ||20 ||200 |
|Harrah’s Lake Tahoe||Lake Tahoe, NV||53,600 ||720 ||60 ||510 |
|Harrah’s Laughlin||Laughlin, NV||58,200 ||760 ||40 ||1,510 |
Harrah’s Louisiana Downs (c)
|Bossier City, LA||12,000 ||820 ||— ||— |
|Harrah’s Metropolis||Metropolis, IL||23,500 ||650 ||20 ||210 |
|Harrah’s New Orleans||New Orleans, LA||103,800 ||1,260 ||120 ||450 |
|Harrah’s North Kansas City||N. Kansas City, MO||60,100 ||960 ||60 ||390 |
|Harrah’s Philadelphia||Chester, PA||99,500 ||1,700 ||70 ||— |
|Harveys Lake Tahoe||Lake Tahoe, NV||51,100 ||600 ||30 ||740 |
|Horseshoe Bossier City||Bossier City, LA||28,300 ||1,060 ||60 ||600 |
|Horseshoe Council Bluffs||Council Bluffs, IA||55,100 ||1,330 ||60 ||150 |
|Horseshoe Hammond||Hammond, IN||116,500 ||1,970 ||120 ||— |
|Horseshoe Tunica||Tunica, MS||63,000 ||970 ||100 ||510 |
|Isle Casino Bettendorf||Bettendorf, IA||36,700 ||900 ||20 ||510 |
|Isle Casino Waterloo||Waterloo, IA||39,200 ||890 ||20 ||190 |
|Lumière Place Casino||St. Louis, MO||75,000 ||1,160 ||30 ||490 |
MontBleu Casino Resort & Spa (c)
|Stateline, NV||40,500 ||210 ||10 ||440 |
|Trop Casino Greenville||Greenville, MS||22,800 ||470 ||— ||— |
|Tropicana Atlantic City||Atlantic City, NJ||121,700 ||2,020 ||120 ||2,360 |
|Tropicana Laughlin Hotel & Casino||Laughlin, NV||43,200 ||660 ||10 ||1,490 |
|Managed and Branded Segment|
|Harrah’s Ak-Chin||Phoenix, AZ||65,200 ||1,150 ||50 ||530 |
|Harrah’s Cherokee||Cherokee, NC||211,800 ||2,870 ||160 ||1,830 |
|Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River||Murphy, NC||66,000 ||1,000 ||60 ||300 |
|Harrah’s Resort Southern California||Funner, CA||72,900 ||1,490 ||50 ||1,090 |
|Caesars Windsor||Canada||100,000 ||1,670 ||50 ||760 |
|Caesars Dubai||United Arab Emirates||— ||— ||— ||580 |
Caesars Southern Indiana (d)
|Elizabeth, IN||74,400 ||1,100 ||90 ||500 |
|Harrah’s Northern California||Ione, CA||30,100 ||850 ||20 ||— |
(a)On August 26, 2021, the Company increased its ownership interest in Horseshoe Baltimore to 75.8% and began to consolidate the property in our Regional segment following the change in ownership. Management fees prior to the consolidation of Horseshoe Baltimore have been reflected in the Managed and Branded segment.
(b)Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Lake Charles (“Lake Charles”) has been temporarily closed since the end of August 2020 due to damage from Hurricane Laura and will remain closed until the second half of 2022 when construction of a new land-based casino is expected to be complete.
(c)During the year ended December 31, 2021, these properties were sold or expected to sell. See Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Overview for additional details.
(d)The sale of Caesars Southern Indiana closed on September 3, 2021 and the Company entered into a license agreement with the EBCI for the continued use of the Caesars brand and the Caesars Rewards loyalty program at Caesars Southern Indiana.
The properties listed above exclude international properties which have been sold or we have entered into agreements to sell. The sale of Caesars Entertainment UK, including the interest in Emerald Resort & Casino (together, “Caesars UK Group”) closed on July 16, 2021, in which the buyer assumed all liabilities associated with the Caesars UK Group. Additionally, on September 8, 2021, the Company entered into an agreement to sell William Hill International, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.
Other properties of ours include The LINQ Promenade, next to The LINQ Hotel & Casino (the “LINQ”) and the CAESARS FORUM conference center in our Las Vegas segment. The LINQ Promenade is an open-air dining, entertainment, and retail promenade located on the east side of the Las Vegas Strip that features the High Roller, a 550-foot observation wheel, and the Fly LINQ Zipline attraction. The CAESARS FORUM is a 550,000 square feet conference center with 300,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, two of the largest pillarless ballrooms in the world and direct access to the LINQ.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
For a discussion of our “Legal Proceedings,” refer to Note 11 to our Financial Statements located elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Item 5. Market for Registrants’ Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Our Common Stock is quoted on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol “CZR”. As of February 17, 2022, there were approximately 321 holders of record of our common stock.
We have not paid any cash dividends on our common stock. We intend to retain all of our earnings to finance the development of our business, and thus, do not anticipate paying cash dividends on our common stock for the foreseeable future. Payment of any cash dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our Board and will depend upon, among other things, our future earnings, operations and capital requirements, our general financial condition, general business conditions and restrictions that may be in place under our borrowing arrangements or existing lease agreements.
Equity Compensation Plan Information
We maintain long-term incentive plans which allow for granting stock-based compensation awards for directors, employees, officers, and consultants or advisers who render services to the Company or its subsidiaries, based on Company Common Stock, including performance-based and incentive stock options, restricted stock or restricted stock units (“RSUs”), performance stock units (“PSUs”), market-based stock units (“MSUs”), stock appreciation rights, and other stock-based awards or dividend equivalents. See Note 15 for a description of our stock-based compensation plans.
The following table sets forth information as of December 31, 2021, with respect to compensation plans under which equity securities that we have authorized for issuance.
Number of securities to be issued
upon exercise of outstanding options,
warrants and rights (1)
Weighted average exercise price
of outstanding options,
warrants and rights (2)
|Number of securities remaining|
available for future issuance under
equity compensation plans (excluding
securities reflected in column (a))
|Equity compensation plans approved by security holders||2,933,504 ||$||20.69 ||5,093,651 |
(1)Includes (i) 43,905 shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of outstanding options with a weighted-average exercise price of $20.69 and (ii) 2,889,599 unvested RSUs, PSUs, and MSUs.
(2)RSUs, PSUs, and MSUs do not have an exercise price and therefore are not included in the calculation of the weighted-average exercise price.
Changes to the Authorized Shares
On June 17, 2021, following receipt of required shareholder approvals, the Company amended its Certificate of Incorporation to increase the number of authorized shares of common stock from 300 million to 500 million, and authorize the issuance of up to 150 million shares of preferred stock. As of December 31, 2021, no shares of preferred stock have been issued.
Share Repurchase Program
In November 2018, our Board authorized a common stock repurchase program of up to $150 million of stock (the “Share Repurchase Program”) pursuant to which we may, from time to time, repurchase shares of common stock on the open market (either with or without a 10b5-1 plan) or through privately negotiated transactions. The Share Repurchase Program has no time limit and may be suspended or discontinued at any time without notice. There is no minimum number of shares of common stock that we are required to repurchase under the Share Repurchase Program.
As of December 31, 2021, we have acquired 223,823 shares of common stock under this program since 2018 at an aggregate value of $9 million and an average of $40.80 per share. No shares were repurchased during the years ended December 31, 2021 or 2020.
Transactions Related to Convertible Notes issued by Former Caesars
Prior to the Merger, Former Caesars issued $1.1 billion aggregate principal amount of 5% convertible senior notes maturing in 2024 (the “5% Convertible Notes”). The 5% Convertible Notes were convertible into the weighted average of the number of shares of Company Common Stock and an amount of cash actually received per share by holders of common stock of Former
Caesars that made elections for consideration in the Merger. During the year ended December 31, 2021, the Company converted the remaining outstanding aggregate principal amount of the 5% Convertible Notes, which resulted in cash payments of $367 million, net of approximately $12 million paid into our trust accounts, and the issuance of approximately 5 million shares of Company Common Stock.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
Stock Performance Graph
The graph depicted below compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock with the cumulative total return on the Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index (“S&P 500”) and the Dow Jones U.S. Gambling Total Stock Market Index (“Dow Jones U.S. Gambling”) for the period beginning on December 31, 2016 and ending on December 31, 2021. NASDAQ OMX furnished the data. The performance graph assumes a $100 investment in our stock and each of the two indices, respectively, on December 31, 2016, and that all dividends were reinvested. Stock price performance, presented for the period from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2021, is not necessarily indicative of future results.
The performance graph should not be deemed filed or incorporated by reference into any other of our filings under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, unless we specifically incorporate the performance graph by reference therein.
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with, and is qualified in its entirety by, the audited consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto and other financial information included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Caesars Entertainment, Inc., a Delaware corporation, is referred to as the “Company,” “CEI,” “Caesars,” or the “Registrant,” and together with its subsidiaries may also be referred to as “we,” “us” or “our.”
We also refer to (i) our Consolidated Financial Statements as our “Financial Statements,” (ii) our Consolidated Statements of Operations and Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss) as our “Statements of Operations,” (iii) our Consolidated Balance Sheets as our “Balance Sheets,” and (iv) our Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows as our “Statements of Cash Flows.” References to numbered “Notes” refer to Notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8.
The statements in this discussion regarding our expectations of our future performance, liquidity and capital resources, and other non-historical statements are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from those contained in or implied by any forward-looking statements. See Item 1A, “Risk Factors—CAUTIONARY STATEMENTS REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS,” of this report.
This Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”) is intended to be a narrative explanation of the financial statements and other statistical data that should be read in conjunction with the accompanying financial statements to enhance an investor’s understanding of our financial condition, changes in financial condition and results of operations. Our objectives are: (i) to provide a narrative explanation of our financial statements that will enable investors to see the Company through the eyes of management; (ii) to enhance the overall financial disclosure and provide the context within which financial information should be analyzed; and (iii) to provide information about the quality of, and potential variability of, our earnings and cash flows so that investors can ascertain the likelihood that past performance is indicative of future performance.
We are a geographically diversified gaming and hospitality company that was founded in 1973 by the Carano family with the opening of the Eldorado Hotel Casino in Reno, Nevada. Beginning in 2005, we grew through a series of acquisitions, including the acquisition of MTR Gaming Group, Inc. in 2014, Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. (“Isle” or “Isle of Capri”) in 2017 and Tropicana Entertainment, Inc. in 2018. On July 20, 2020, we completed the merger with Caesars Entertainment Corporation (“Former Caesars”) pursuant to which Former Caesars became our wholly-owned subsidiary (the “Merger”) and our ticker symbol on the NASDAQ Stock Market changed from “ERI” to “CZR”.
On April 22, 2021, we completed the acquisition of William Hill PLC for £2.9 billion, or approximately $3.9 billion (the “William Hill Acquisition”).
We currently own, lease or manage an aggregate of 52 domestic properties in 16 states with approximately 55,700 slot machines, video lottery terminals and e-tables, approximately 2,900 table games and approximately 47,700 hotel rooms as of December 31, 2021. In addition, we have other domestic and international properties that are authorized to use the brands and marks of Caesars Entertainment, Inc., as well as other non-gaming properties. Our primary source of revenue is generated by our casino properties’ gaming operations, retail and online sports betting as well as online gaming, and we utilize hotels, restaurants, bars, entertainment, racing, retail shops and other services to attract customers to our properties.
As of December 31, 2021, we owned 20 of our casinos and leased 26 casinos in the U.S. We lease 18 casinos from VICI Properties L.P., a Delaware limited partnership (“VICI”) pursuant to a regional lease, a Las Vegas lease and a Joliet lease. In addition, we lease seven casinos from GLP Capital, L.P., the operating partnership of Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (“GLPI”) pursuant to a Master Lease (as amended, the “GLPI Master Lease”) and a Lumière lease (together with the GLPI Master Lease, the “GLPI Leases”). Additionally, we lease the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino from a separate third party. See descriptions under the “GLPI Leases” and “VICI Leases.”
We also operate and conduct sports wagering across 21 states and domestic jurisdictions, 14 of which are mobile for sports betting, and operate regulated online real money gaming in five states. Our recently launched Caesars Sportsbook app operates on the Liberty platform, which we acquired in the William Hill Acquisition along with other technology platforms that we intend to migrate to the Liberty platform in the future, subject to required approvals. The map below illustrates Caesars Digital’s presence as of December 31, 2021:
Subsequent to December 31, 2021, we launched mobile sports betting on our Liberty platform in New York on January 8, 2022 and Louisiana on January 28, 2022 and went live with retail sports betting in Washington on February 10, 2022. We are also in the process of expanding our Caesars Digital footprint into other states in the near term.
We periodically divest of assets in order to raise capital or as a result of a determination that the assets are not core to our business. We also divested certain assets in connection with obtaining regulatory approvals related to closing of the Merger. A summary of recently completed and planned divestitures of our properties as of December 31, 2021 is as follows:
|Segment||Property||Date Sold||Sales Price|
|Regional||Presque Isle Downs & Casino (“Presque”)||January 11, 2019||$179 million|
|Regional||Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin (“Nemacolin”)||March 8, 2019||*|
|Regional||Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort (“Mountaineer”)||December 6, 2019||(a)|
|Regional||Isle Casino Cape Girardeau (“Cape Girardeau”)||December 6, 2019||(a)|
|Regional||Lady Luck Casino Caruthersville (“Caruthersville”)||December 6, 2019||(a)|
|Regional||Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City (“Kansas City”)||July 1, 2020||(b)|
|Regional||Lady Luck Casino Vicksburg (“Vicksburg”)||July 1, 2020||(b)|
|Regional||Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport (“Eldorado Shreveport”)||December 23, 2020|
|Regional||MontBleu Casino Resort & Spa (“MontBleu”)||April 6, 2021|
|Regional||Tropicana Evansville (“Evansville”)||June 3, 2021|
|Regional||Belle of Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel (“Baton Rouge”)||N/A||*|
|Regional||Harrah’s Reno||September 30, 2020||$42 million (c)|
|Regional||Bally’s Atlantic City|
November 18, 2020
|$25 million (c)|
|Regional||Harrah’s Louisiana Downs||November 1, 2021||$22 million (c)|
|Regional||Caesars Southern Indiana||September 3, 2021|
|N/A||Emerald Resort & Casino||July 16, 2021||*|
|N/A||Caesars Entertainment UK||July 16, 2021||*|
|N/A||William Hill International||N/A|
(a)Mountaineer, Cape Girardeau and Caruthersville were sold for aggregate consideration of $385 million.
(b)Kansas City and Vicksburg were sold for aggregate consideration of $230 million.
(c)The proceeds of this sale were split between the Company and VICI.
See Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 4 for further discussion on these key transactions and any applicable gain (loss) or impairment charges recorded.
Merger and Acquisitions Related Activities
Acquisition of William Hill
On September 30, 2020, we announced that we had reached an agreement with William Hill PLC on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition pursuant to which we would acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital (other than shares owned by us or held in treasury) of William Hill PLC, in an all-cash transaction. On April 22, 2021, the Company completed the acquisition for £2.9 billion, or approximately $3.9 billion.
In connection with the William Hill Acquisition, on April 22, 2021, a newly formed subsidiary of the Company entered into a Credit Agreement (the “Bridge Credit Agreement”) with certain lenders party thereto and Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch, as administrative agent and collateral agent, pursuant to which the lenders party thereto provided the Debt Financing (as defined below). The Bridge Credit Agreement provides for (a) a 540-day £1.0 billion asset sale bridge facility, (b) a 60-day £503 million cash confirmation bridge facility and (c) a 540-day £116 million revolving credit facility (collectively, the “Debt Financing”). The proceeds of the bridge loan facilities provided under the Bridge Credit Agreement were used (i) to pay a portion of the cash consideration for the acquisition and (ii) to pay fees and expenses related to the acquisition and related transactions. The proceeds of the revolving credit facility under the Bridge Credit Agreement may be used for working capital and general corporate purposes. The £1.5 billion Interim Facilities Agreement (“Interim Facilities Agreement”) entered into on October 6, 2020 with Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., and amended on December 11, 2020, was terminated upon the execution of the Bridge Credit Agreement. On May 12, 2021, the Company repaid the £503 million cash confirmation bridge facility. On June 14, 2021, the Company drew down the full £116 million from the revolving credit facility and the proceeds, in addition to excess Company cash, were used to make a partial repayment of the asset sale bridge facility in the amount of £700 million. Outstanding borrowings under the Bridge Credit Agreement are expected to be repaid upon the sale of William Hill’s non-U.S. operations including the UK and international online divisions and the retail betting shops (collectively, “William Hill International”), all of which are held for sale and reflected within
discontinued operations. Certain investments acquired will be excluded from the held for sale group.
On September 8, 2021, we entered into an agreement to sell William Hill International to 888 Holdings Plc for approximately £2.2 billion. After repayment of the outstanding debt under the Bridge Credit Agreement, described above, and other working capital adjustments, the Company expects to receive approximately £835 million, or $1.2 billion, subject to any permitted leakage, which is customary for sale transactions in the UK. The sale is subject to satisfaction of customary conditions, including receipt of the approval of shareholders of 888 Holdings Plc and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.
We recognized acquisition-related transaction costs of $68 million and $8 million for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, excluding additional transaction cost associated with sale of William Hill International. These costs were associated with legal and professional services and were recorded in Transaction costs and other operating costs in our Statements of Operations.
Consolidation of Horseshoe Baltimore
On August 26, 2021, we increased our ownership interest in CBAC Borrower, LLC (“Horseshoe Baltimore”), a property which we also managed, to approximately 75.8% for cash consideration of $55 million. We were subsequently determined to have a controlling financial interest in Horseshoe Baltimore and have consolidated the results of operations of the property following our change in ownership. As a result of the increase in our ownership interest, our previously held investment was remeasured and we recognized a gain of $40 million for the year ended December 31, 2021. Management fees received prior to the consolidation event have been presented within our Managed and Branded segment. Operations following the consolidation event are presented within our Regional segment.
Merger with Caesars Entertainment Corporation
On July 20, 2020, the Merger was consummated and Former Caesars became a wholly-owned subsidiary of ours. The strategic rationale for the Merger includes, but is not limited to, the following:
•Creation of the largest owner, operator and manager of domestic gaming assets
•Diversification of the Company’s domestic footprint
•Access to iconic brands, rewards programs and new gaming opportunities expected to enhance customer experience
•Realization of significant identified synergies
The total purchase consideration for Former Caesars was $10.9 billion. The estimated purchase consideration in the acquisition was determined with reference to its acquisition date fair value.
We recognized acquisition-related transaction costs in connection with the Merger of $30 million, $160 million and $80 million for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Investments and Partnerships
The acquired net assets of William Hill included an investment in NeoGames S.A. (“NeoGames”), a global leader of iLottery solutions and services to national and state-regulated lotteries, and other investments. On September 16, 2021, the Company sold a portion of its shares of NeoGames common stock for $136 million which decreased its ownership interest from 24.5% to approximately 8.4%. As of December 31, 2021, the Company held approximately 2 million shares of NeoGames common stock with a fair value of $60 million. The shares have a readily determinable fair value and, accordingly, the Company remeasures the investment based on the publicly available share price (Level 1). For the year ended December 31, 2021, the Company recorded a loss to the investment in NeoGames of $54 million, which is included within Other income (loss) on the Statements of Operations.
The Stars Group/Flutter Entertainment
In November 2018, the Company entered into a 20-year agreement with The Stars Group Inc. (“TSG”) pursuant to which we agreed to provide TSG with options to obtain access to our second skin for online sports wagering and third skin for real money online gaming and poker, in each case with respect to states in which our properties are located. Under the terms of the agreement, we received 1 million TSG common shares. The fair value of the shares received was deferred and was recognized as revenue on a straight-line basis over the 20-year agreement term. In addition, we received a revenue share from the operation of the applicable verticals by TSG under our licenses. In December 2020, the Company sold a portion of these Flutter shares for net proceeds of $24 million.
On July 7, 2021, the Company sold all remaining Flutter shares for $9 million. The Company recorded a loss of $1 million during the year ended December 31, 2021, which is included within Other income (loss) on our Statements of Operations.
Pompano Joint Venture
In April 2018, the Company entered into a joint venture with Cordish Companies (“Cordish”) to plan and develop a mixed-use entertainment and hospitality destination expected to be located on unused land adjacent to the casino and racetrack at the Company’s Pompano property. As the managing member, Cordish will operate the business and manage the development, construction, financing, marketing, leasing, maintenance and day-to-day operation of the various phases of the project. Additionally, Cordish will be responsible for the development of the master plan for the project with the Company’s input and will submit it for the Company’s review and approval. In June 2021, the joint venture issued a capital call and we contributed $3 million, for a total of $4 million in cash since the inception of the joint venture. On February 12, 2021, the Company contributed 186 acres to the joint venture with a fair value of $61 million. Total contributions of approximately 206 acres of land have been made with a fair value of approximately $69 million, and the Company has no further obligation to contribute additional real estate or cash as of December 31, 2021. We entered into a short-term lease agreement in February 2021, which we can cancel at any time, to lease back a portion of the land from the joint venture.
While the Company holds a 50% variable interest in the joint venture, it is not the primary beneficiary; as such the investment in the joint venture is accounted for using the equity method. The Company participates evenly with Cordish in the profits and losses of the joint venture, which are included in Transaction costs and other operating costs on the Statements of Operations. As of December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, the Company’s investment in the joint venture is recorded in Investment in and advances to unconsolidated affiliates on the Balance Sheets.
Segment results in this MD&A are presented consistent with the way our management reviews operating results, assesses performance and makes decisions on a “significant market” basis. Management views each of the Company’s casinos as an operating segment. Operating segments are aggregated based on their similar economic characteristics, types of customers, types of services and products provided, and their management and reporting structure. Prior to the William Hill Acquisition, our principal operating activities occurred in three regionally-focused reportable segments: Las Vegas, Regional, and Managed, International, CIE, in addition to Corporate and Other.
The William Hill Acquisition and rebranding of our interactive business (formerly, Caesars Interactive Entertainment “CIE” and now, inclusive of William Hill US, “Caesars Digital”) expanded our access to conduct sports wagering and iGaming gaming operations. As a result, the Company has made a change to the composition of its reportable segments. The Las Vegas and Regional segments are substantially unchanged, while the former Managed, International and CIE reportable segment has been recast for all periods presented into two segments; Caesars Digital and Managed and Branded. Accordingly, our principal operating activities occur in four reportable segments: (1) Las Vegas, (2) Regional, (3) Caesars Digital, and (4) Managed and Branded, in addition to Corporate and Other. See Item 2. “Properties” for listing of properties by segment.
Presentation of Financial Information
The financial information included in this Item 7 for the periods after our acquisitions of Former Caesars on July 20, 2020, William Hill on April 22, 2021 and of the increase in our ownership percentage and subsequent consolidation of Horseshoe Baltimore on August 26, 2021, is not fully comparable to the periods prior to the acquisitions. In addition, the presentation of financial information herein for the periods after the Company’s sales of various properties is not fully comparable to the periods prior to their respective sale dates. Refer to “Reportable Segments” above for a discussion of changes to the Company’s reportable segments.
This MD&A is intended to provide information to assist in better understanding and evaluating our financial condition and results of operations. Our historical operating results may not be indicative of our future results of operations because of the factors described in the preceding paragraph and the changing competitive landscape in each of our markets, including changes in market and societal trends, as well as by factors discussed elsewhere herein. We recommend that you read this MD&A in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and the notes to those statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Certain reclassifications of prior year presentations have been made to conform to the current period presentation. In June 2021, the Indiana Gaming Commission amended its order that previously required the Company to sell a third casino asset in the state of Indiana. As a result, Horseshoe Hammond no longer meets the held for sale criteria. The assets and liabilities previously held
for sale have been reclassified as held and used for all periods presented measured at the lower of the carrying amount, adjusted for depreciation and amortization that would have been recognized had the assets been continuously classified as held and used, and the fair value at the date of the amended ruling. Additionally, amounts previously presented in discontinued operations have been reclassified into continuing operations for all periods presented.
Key Performance Metrics
Our primary source of revenue is generated by our gaming operations, retail and online sports betting, as well as online gaming. Additionally we utilize our hotels, restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, retail shops, racing and other services to attract customers to our properties. Our operating results are highly dependent on the volume and quality of customers visiting and staying at our properties and using our sports betting and iGaming applications.
Key performance metrics include volume indicators such as drop or handle, which refer to amounts wagered by our customers. The amount of volume we retain, which is not fully controllable by us, is recognized as casino revenues and is referred to as our win or hold. Slot win percentage is typically in the range of approximately 9% to 11% of slot handle for both the Las Vegas and Regional segments. Table game hold percentage is typically in the range of approximately 14% to 23% of table game drop in the Las Vegas segment and 18% to 21% of table game drop in the Regional segment. Sports betting hold is typically in the range of 5% to 9% and iGaming hold typically ranges from 3% to 4%. In addition, hotel occupancy, which is the average percentage of available hotel rooms occupied during a period, is a key indicator for our hotel business in the Las Vegas segment. See “Results of Operations” section below. Complimentary rooms are treated as occupied rooms in our calculation of hotel occupancy. The key metrics we utilize to measure our profitability and performance are Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin.
Significant Factors Impacting Financial Results
The following summary highlights the significant factors impacting our financial results during the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019.
Acquisitions and Transaction Costs
•Acquisition of William Hill – On April 22, 2021, the Company consummated its previously announced acquisition of the entire issued and to be issued share capital (other than shares owned by the Company or held in treasury) of William Hill PLC, in an all-cash transaction of £2.9 billion, or approximately $3.9 billion. We recognized acquisition-related transaction costs of $68 million and $8 million for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, excluding additional transaction costs associated with sale of William Hill International.
•Consolidation of Horseshoe Baltimore – On August 26, 2021, the Company increased its ownership interest in Horseshoe Baltimore to approximately 75.8%. Prior to the purchase, the Company held an interest in Horseshoe Baltimore of approximately 44.3% which was accounted for as an equity method investment. Subsequent to the change in ownership, the Company was determined to have a controlling financial interest and has begun to consolidate the operations of Horseshoe Baltimore. As a result of the consolidation, the Company recognized a gain of $40 million during the year ended December 31, 2021.
•Merger with Caesars Entertainment Corporation – The Merger closed on July 20, 2020. The Company recognized acquisition-related transaction costs in connection with the Merger of $30 million, $160 million and $80 million for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Divestitures and Discontinued Operations
•Divestitures and Discontinued Operations – See “Overview” section above for detail on properties divested or held for sale, including related discontinued operations.
Financing and Lease Transactions
•Debt Transactions – In connection with the Merger, we issued new notes, entered into a new credit agreement and assumed certain of Former Caesars indebtedness. In addition, we terminated previously outstanding credit agreements and discharged outstanding notes. During 2021, we issued $1.2 billion in aggregate principal amount of 4.625% Senior Notes due 2029, we repriced the Incremental CRC Term Loan, we fully converted the outstanding the 5% Convertible Notes, we purchased or redeemed the entire $1.7 billion in aggregate principal amount of outstanding CRC Notes of, and we purchased $100 million in aggregate principal amount of CEI Senior Notes. As a result of these transactions, described more fully in the Liquidity and Capital Resources section below, we experienced some interest savings subsequent to these transactions. Additionally, we recorded a loss on extinguishment of debt of $236 million and
$197 million during the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, which is recorded within Loss on extinguishment of debt on the Statement of Operations.
•VICI Leases – Upon consummation of the Merger, CEI assumed obligations of certain real property assets leased from VICI by Former Caesars under various lease agreements. We recorded interest expense of $1.1 billion and $519 million for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, which was in excess of the cash lease payments as we continue to accrete up the liability during the earlier periods of the VICI Leases. Our VICI Leases also contain annual escalators based on the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”), with a floor of 2%.
•GLPI Leases – We have accounted for the GLPI Leases as deferred financing obligations. We recorded interest expense in the amount of $111 million, $104 million and $99 million during the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively, which was in excess of the cash lease payments as we continue to accrete up the liability during the earlier periods of the GLPI Leases. Our GLPI Leases also contain an annual escalation provision based on stated rates ranging from 1.25% to 2.0% per year.
Other Significant Factors
•COVID-19 Public Health Emergency – In January 2020, an outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) was identified and has since spread throughout much of the world, including the U.S. All of our casino properties were temporarily closed for the period from mid-March 2020 through mid-May 2020 due to orders issued by various government agencies and tribal bodies as part of certain precautionary measures intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19. During the year ended December 31, 2021, most of our properties experienced positive trends as restrictions on maximum capacities and amenities available were eased.
Following temporary furloughs and salary reductions during 2020, the Company has emphasized a focus on labor efficiencies as operations resumed. As properties began to reopen during the year ended December 31, 2020, certain capacity restrictions, mask mandates, sanitation guidelines, and the federal COVID-19 vaccine and testing emergency temporary standard were adhered to as required by governmental or tribal orders, directives, and guidelines.
We experienced positive operating trends in 2021, with a continued focus on operational efficiencies. Although we have experienced a decline in net income, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margins for the year ended December 31, 2021 exceeded pre-pandemic levels experienced in 2019 within our Las Vegas and Regional segments. However, certain revenue streams, such as convention and entertainment revenues, continued to be negatively impacted due to capacity restrictions in the first half of 2021. Future effects of COVID-19 from further outbreaks, including new variants, mask mandates or other restrictions are uncertain and could result in additional closures such as the temporary closure of Caesars Windsor from January 5, 2022 through January 31, 2022. Extensive closure periods impacting many of our properties would have a material adverse effect on future results of operations.
•Impairment Charges – As a result of COVID-19, we recognized impairment charges in our Regional segment related to goodwill and trade names totaling $100 million and $16 million, respectively, during the year ended December 31, 2020. In addition, as a result of entering agreements to sell properties in our Regional segment, impairment charges totaling $99 million were recorded during the year ended December 31, 2020 due to the carrying value exceeding the net sales proceeds. In December 2021, the Company approved a capital plan which included the planned rebranding of certain of our properties, which is expected to be substantially complete by December 31, 2022. The Company utilized an income approach to determine the fair value of the trademarks subject to rebranding based on their expected future cash flows, which resulted in an impairment charge of $102 million. The adjusted carrying values of these trademarks, previously considered to have indefinite lives, have begun to be amortized over their respective remaining useful lives.
•Weather and Construction Disruption – During the third quarter of 2021, our Regional segment was negatively impacted by natural disasters including Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and Mississippi and wildfires in the Lake Tahoe area. Harrah’s New Orleans, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe all experienced temporary closures which lasted slightly more than one week. Additionally, in late August 2020, our Regional segment was negatively impacted by Hurricane Laura, causing severe damage to Lake Charles, which will remain closed until the second half of 2022 when construction of a new land-based casino is expected to be complete. During the year ended December 31, 2021, we received insurance proceeds of $44 million related to damaged fixed assets and remediation costs. The Company also recorded a gain of $21 million as proceeds received for the cost to replace damaged property were in excess of the respective carrying value of the assets.
•Caesars Sportsbook Launch and Rebranding – In connection with the launch and rebranding of the Caesars Sportsbook app during the year ended December 31, 2021, our Caesars Digital segment initiated a significant marketing campaign with distinguished actors, athletes and other media personalities. As new states and jurisdictions
have legalized sports betting, we have made significant upfront investment which has been executed through the marketing campaign and promotional incentives to establish ourselves as an industry leader.
•Post-Merger Synergies – We continue to identify operating and cost efficiencies, including savings from the purchasing power of the combined Caesars organization and targeted integrated marketing strategies, as well as the elimination of redundant costs such as accounting and professional expenses, certain payroll costs, and other corporate costs. As a result, we experienced margin improvements in our results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Results of Operations
The following table highlights the results of our operations:
|Years Ended December 31,|
|(Dollars in millions)||2021||2020||2019|
|Las Vegas||$||3,409 ||$||751 ||$||— |
|Regional||5,537 ||2,660 ||2,494 |
|Caesars Digital||337 ||95 ||26 |
|Managed and Branded||278 ||107 ||— |
Corporate and Other (a)
|9 ||15 ||8 |
|Total||$||9,570 ||$||3,628 ||$||2,528 |
|Net income (loss)||$||(1,016)||$||(1,758)||$||81 |
Adjusted EBITDA (b):
|Las Vegas||$||1,568 ||$||133 ||$||— |
|Regional||1,979 ||711 ||719 |
|Caesars Digital||(476)||26 ||13 |
|Managed and Branded||87 ||25 ||— |
Corporate and Other (a)
|Total Segment Adjusted EBITDA||$||2,990 ||$||794 ||$||697 |
Net income (loss) margin (c)
|Adjusted EBITDA margin||31.2 ||%||21.9 ||%||27.6 ||%|
(a)Corporate and Other includes revenues related to certain licensing arrangements and various revenue sharing agreements. Corporate and Other Adjusted EBITDA includes corporate overhead costs, which consist of certain expenses, such as: payroll, professional fees and other general and administrative expenses.
(b)See the “Supplemental Unaudited Presentation of Consolidated Adjusted Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”)” discussion later in this MD&A for a description of Adjusted EBITDA and a reconciliation of net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA related margins.
(c)Net income (loss) margin is calculated as net income (loss) divided by net revenues.
Consolidated comparison for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019
Net revenues were as follows:
|Years Ended December 31,||Variance||Percent Change||Variance||Percent Change|
|(Dollars in millions)||2021||2020||2019|
2021 vs 2020
2020 vs 2019
|Casino and pari-mutuel commissions||$||5,827 ||$||2,482 ||$||1,808 ||$||3,345 ||134.8 ||%||$||674 ||37.3 ||%|
|Food and beverage||1,140 ||342 ||301 ||798 ||*||41 ||13.6 ||%|
|Hotel||1,551 ||450 ||300 ||1,101 ||*||150 ||50.0 ||%|
|Other||1,052 ||354 ||119 ||698 ||197.2 ||%||235 ||197.5 ||%|
|Net Revenues||$||9,570 ||$||3,628 ||$||2,528 ||$||5,942 ||163.8 ||%||$||1,100 ||43.5 ||%|
* Not meaningful.
Consolidated revenues increased for the year ended December 31, 2021 primarily due to recent acquisitions including the Merger on July 20, 2020, the William Hill Acquisition on April 22, 2021, and the consolidation of Horseshoe Baltimore on August 26, 2021, offset by the divestiture of certain properties discussed above. In addition, net revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020 were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. All of our casino properties were temporarily closed for the period from mid-March 2020 through mid-May 2020. Further, many of our properties were operating under restrictive guidelines through the first half of 2021 due to orders issued by various government agencies and tribal bodies as part of certain precautionary measures intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Local and state regulations and the implementation of social distancing and health and safety protocols in response to COVID-19 resulted in reduced gaming capacity and hotel occupancy as well as limitations on the operation of food and beverage outlets, live entertainment events, and conventions. As of December 31, 2021, all of our properties have resumed certain operations, to the extent permitted, with the exception of Lake Charles which was severely damaged by Hurricane Laura and will remain closed until the second half of 2022 when construction of a new land-based casino is expected to be completed.
Operating expenses were as follows:
|Years Ended December 31,||Variance||Percent Change||Variance||Percent Change|
|(Dollars in millions)||2021||2020||2019|
2021 vs 2020
2020 vs 2019
|Casino and pari-mutuel commissions||$||3,129 ||$||1,271 ||$||905 ||$||1,858 ||146.2 ||%||$||366 ||40.4 ||%|
|Food and beverage||707 ||265 ||239 ||442 ||166.8 ||%||26 ||10.9 ||%|
|Hotel||438 ||170 |