some machine virus
More recent (as in today) news out that the casino has new capital and a loan restructuring. Now why would they need that? Some questioned my naysaying recently suggesting that they are burning cash. Clearly something forced them into that. The story out also says the casino's debt was downgraded last month by Moody's. I am unclear if that is subsequent to previous downgrades I saw reported on.
The big question is whether they are burning cash still and how far this gets them. Note the PG story says "the casino's revenues have improved considerably over the last few months".. Have they?
So bear along with me. I've been watching how the casino has been performing by tracking the average gross terminal revenue per machine. I thought the news of note was that the average take per machine had achieved a certain level of stability, falling within the narrow range of $228 +/- $2 over the last 4 weeks. A sign things have achieved a steady state of sorts? Maybe not it turns out.
Made sense to track the average per machine if the number of machines stayed the same. Turns out the Rivers Casino has been drawing down their machine count. 6 weeks ago they were operating the 3,000 machines they are licensed to use. The report out last week(waiting for this week's) shows they are down to 2,737 machines. So the average per machine is steady, but with a decrease in number of machines the actual $$ being wagered is down, as is the gross profit. Above the uber lows in mid-December, but still way below anyone's projections and not climbing in recent months.
Note the last week's worth of data should be out imminently. I will updpate this post with the addtional data when I see it though it may have some Memorial day weekend impacts.
Know what you are measuring is probably a good rule.
I don't know why the machine count is down so much.. I know they had requested from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board the right to decrease the number of slots machines down to 2,874 ostentibly to make room for the table games that was just announced were coming in July. Not sure they needed the space, but it probably is better business to have the machines look busier than they do much of the time. But the current number is well below that. I am guessing they modified the request but I dunno.
Why care? Just another number. Table games are coming to save us anyway right? The Trib story explains that the minimum slot machine counts were regulated as a cop to the horsing industry that gets a slice of the slots revenues. Well guess who else is dependent on the revenue from slot machines?
Whatever the reason, the steady per machine revenue belies a steady decline in their revenues overall. What is amazing is that the average has remained so steady. that and the number of machines has declined pretty steadily, not one big drop.
# of Machines