Posted on: July 27, 2023, 08:04h.
Last updated on: July 27, 2023, 08:04h.
Full House Resorts (NASDAQ: FLL) is quickly gaining prominence in the Illinois casino market, one of the largest in the US outside of Nevada.
In February, the operator opened a temporary version of American Place in Waukegan, Ill. Since then, The Temporary has become the third most popular gaming venue in the state in terms of attendance and sixth in monthly adjusted gaming revenue, as reported by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB).
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Waukegan casino attracts an average of 70,107 visitors per month, surpassing the Hollywood Casino Aurora by 321 visitors and the Draft Kings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis by 1,812 visitors, both of which opened in 1993.
Rush Street Gaming’s Rivers Casino in Des Plaines leads in both attendance and monthly gross adjusted gaming revenue in Illinois. However, The Temporary has an average monthly gross adjusted revenue of $7.5 million, according to the IGB. This suggests a strong start for Full House’s newest property. The gaming assets of The Temporary will be transferred to the permanent venue upon its opening. American Place will be the only casino in Lake County, Ill., which has a population of over 700K residents.
American Place Critical to Full House Investment Thesis
In the near-term, The Temporary’s attendance could increase as Circa Sports prepares to launch in Illinois next month through a partnership with Full House, coinciding with the start of football season.
Circa will operate the retail sportsbook at American Place, which brings one of the biggest names in the Las Vegas sports betting scene to Illinois. Circa’s presence could significantly boost revenue for Full House’s venue.
At least one analyst believes that once visitors step inside The Temporary, they’ll be even more eager to visit American Place when it becomes operational.
“As such, we believe FLL may increase marketing spend to drive traffic. Once patrons visit, we believe the property continues to garner repeat/regular players with higher-than-average spend (we remain bullish on Waukegan, just elongating the upper bar timeline),” wrote B. Riley analyst David Bain in a recent report. “Still, after changes, FLL valuation indicates a near-peer low multiple despite a peer-high growth rate.”
Bain rates Full House as a “buy” with a price target of $13, implying over 100% upside from the current closing price of $6.31.
The Temporary Providing Economic Benefits
One of the main reasons Illinois approved gaming expansion is due to the need for cash. The Temporary is delivering.
Since its debut, the Full House venue has generated $3.5 million in new revenue for the state and an additional $1.5 million for North Chicago, Park City, and Waukegan, as reported by the Tribune.
In the near-term, these figures could increase with the addition of the Circa sportsbook and new eateries. They are also likely to see significant growth when American Place fully ramps up.