Nevada ‘locals’ casino operator Station Casinos LLC ended 2012 with black ink on its balance sheet, capping a remarkable turnaround for the company in its first full year of operation since emerging from bankruptcy in 2011. The result is even more impressive considering Station posted a $7.8m loss in Q4 on flat revenues of $303.2m, dragged down by depreciation costs and poor performance at its sports book operations.
For the year, Station reported net income of $13.3m, compared to a $40.8m loss the previous year. Revenues rose 4.4% to $1.2b, while earnings rose 10.9% to $347.2m. The company kicked its $2.17b long-term debt can a little further down the road via a refinancing deal, but the company has reduced its debt by nearly $300m since emerging from bankruptcy.
Station owns 16 gaming joints in Nevada, has deals to manage tribal casino properties in Michigan and California and owns a majority stake in Fertitta Interactive, which holds a Nevada-issued interactive gaming license and plans to operate under the Ultimate Gaming and Ultimate Poker brands. Unlike some Nevada online poker license applicants, Ultimate Poker hopes to launch real-money play sometime this summer. In a post-earnings call with analysts, CFO Marc Falcone said Station would consider making a deal with a casino in Atlantic City to be able to take advantage of New Jersey’s recently passed online gambling legislation.
PocketFives’ Cal Spears recently toured Ultimate Poker’s offices, currently under construction in a 20k-square-foot warehouse off the Las Vegas Strip, not far from the money pit known as CityCenter. While the operation remains largely unstaffed, Ultimate Poker has put at least three former PokerStars’ alumni to work, including Scott Yeates, Joe Versaci and Terrence Chan. The latter member (pictured above), who announced his official affiliation with Ultimate Poker last week via his blog, would seem tailor made for Ultimate Gaming, given that Chan is as comfortable inside a mixed martial arts octagon as he is at a poker table, and Ultimate Poker is under the same umbrella as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Still, didn’t Canadian citizen Chan vow a couple years ago never again to set foot in the US?