IGT sole bidder for Rhode Island sports betting contract

IGT sole bidder for Rhode Island sports betting contract

igt-rhode-island-sports-bettingGaming tech firm International Game Technology (IGT) posted a nine-figure loss in the first quarter of 2018 despite growth across all its business segments.

Figures released this week show IGT’s revenue rising 5% year-on-year to $1.2b in the three months ending March 31, while operating income shot up 65% to $197m. However, the company booked a $103m net loss for the quarter and its net debt rose by over $200m to $7.52b.

That said, $97m of its Q1 loss was due to unfavorable foreign exchange fluctuations, and those ever more forgiving ‘adjusted’ earnings — the ‘my mom says I’m handsome’ of the business world — grew 18% to $436m while adjusted operating income was up 6% to $251m.

IGT’s North America Gaming & Interactive division reported revenue falling 20% to $244m, primarily due to last year’s sale of the DoubleDown Interactive social gaming operation. Absent DoubleDown’s contribution to last year’s result, the division would have improved 3% year-on-year, thanks to product sales rising 26% to $89m.

The North America Lottery segment saw revenue rise 5% to $295m while operating income improved 11% to $76m. The International segment’s revenue rose 6% to $184m while operating income shot up 145% to $22m due to “unusually low results” in Q1 2017.

Italy-specific revenue rose 4% to $483m, in part due to a flurry of operator-friendly sports betting results. Gaming services revenue took a hit due to a government-mandated reduction in the number of installed video lottery terminals and amusement with prizes (AWP) machines (and more hurt in this sector appears imminent).

Like every other North American gaming operator, IGT has developed a keen interest in the US sports betting market following last week’s Supreme Court ruling that struck down the federal betting prohibition.

On Tuesday’s analyst call, IGT CEO Marco Sala claimed the company’s “offering is in pretty good shape” to take advantage of US sports betting opportunities as they arise. Sala cited IGT’s wagering operations in Italy and the company’s proven mobile platforms as proof of its betting bona fides.

IGT was revealed this week as the sole bidder to respond to the Rhode Island Lottery’s request for proposals to handle sports betting operations at the state’s Twin River casino. IGT already operates the RI Lottery’s electronic systems, but Lottery spokesman Paul Grimaldi nonetheless expressed regret that the sports betting tender produced only a single bidder by last Friday’s deadline.