Shares of regional gaming company Full House Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLL) jumped by nearly 22 percent earlier Monday after Gabelli Asset Management Company Investors (GAMCO) founder Mario Gabelli highlighted the stock in an interview with CNBC.
At this writing, shares of the operator of the Rising Star Casino Resort in Rising Sun, Ind. are higher by almost seven percent on volume that’s approaching 10 times the daily average. Earlier in Monday’s session, the NASDAQ, where Full House trades, halted the stock, citing volatility in the name after Gabelli’s comments.
At its high of $3.99 today, Full House flirted with $4, a level the stock hasn’t closed above since late 2017.
Shares of Full House Resorts are jumping after Mario Gabelli mentioned the company on CNBC as stock pick for gambling exposure,” reports The Fly.
The stock entered Monday with a market value of just $84.25 million, making it one of the smallest publicly traded gaming companies in US. A small market capitalization, coupled with a tiny amount of shares outstanding, which Full House has at just 26.41 million, can make a stock sensitive to comments by analysts and fund managers, prompting trading halts by exchanges.
Talking His Book
Gabelli is eating his own cooking when waxing bullish on Full House. As of the end of the third quarter, GAMCO held 1.20 million shares of the Bronco Billy’s operator, making it the fifth-largest institutional owner of the stock, according to company data.
The fund issuer’s Gabelli Small Cap Growth Fund and GAMCO Small Company Value Portfolio are the fourth and fifth-largest fund holders of Full House stock, combining to own nearly 1 million shares.
Monday’s surge in the stock extends a rally that has seen it jumped 22.22 percent in November and nearly 58 percent since the start of the current quarter. Earlier this month, Full House shares jumped after voters in Colorado, where the company owns Bronco Billy’s, approved sports betting.
Gabelli is no stranger to equities with gaming angles. He’s previously been bullish on public companies that own professional sports franchises, and was one of the first high-profile fund managers to extol the potential of the booming esports market.
Other Gaming Holdings
Full House isn’t the only gaming company found in various GAMCO funds. The asset manager owns stakes in MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) and Eldorado Resorts (NASDAQ:ERI), the company that’s paying $17.3 billion to acquire Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR), a deal that will create the largest domestic casino operator.
Full House has proven to be levered to positive sports betting news, as the stock has more than doubled since July, a period that includes the aforementioned legalization in Colorado and Indiana coming online.
The Hoosier State, where Full House runs the Rising Star Casino Resort, had an October handle of $91.7 million, probably good for fourth in the US on a monthly basis, behind only New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
Full House’s other properties are in Nevada and Mississippi, states where sports betting is also permitted.