Gaming Industry Winner 2023

The New Year is fast approaching and it is time for the gaming industry to reflect on the past year. Headlines included further sports betting expansion into new states, major acquisitions, and even a company-wide ransomware attack or two.

For some, the year offered a chance for redemption after a tumultuous 2022, while others went from hero to zero in just 12 months. With the year almost over, it’s time to separate the winners from the losers.

Using the share prices of gaming giants, including operators and suppliers, VegasSlotsOnline news has compiled a list of 2023 winners. From DraftKings to MGM Resorts International to AGS, all of these companies had an outstanding year.

5. MGM Resorts International

January stock price: $37.70

December stock price: $40.35

Increase: 8%

MGM posted a strong year-over-year revenue increase in 2023, contributing to an 8% increase in its share price. In the 12 months ended September 2023, the casino giant generated revenue of $15.38 billion, up 22% year-on-year. The most recently reported quarter in Q3 2023 continued this growth trend with a year-over-year increase of 16%.

A ransomware attack crippled MGM’s systems at its Las Vegas properties

However, the company hasn’t been without its problems, which is likely why its share price growth remains modest. In September, a ransomware attack crippled MGM’s systems at its Las Vegas properties, including slot machines, room keys and even elevators. It took weeks for the company to resolve the issue, reportedly costing up to $100 million.

Making matters worse, MGM workers agreed to strikes in both Las Vegas and Detroit as they tried to secure new contracts. The tense situation – which could have led to a strike at some point during the Formula One race weekend in Las Vegas – ultimately led to cheaper rates for workers in both cities.

Given the difficult time MGM has had this year, the 8% increase in share price can certainly be seen as a win. The future also looks brighter for the company after it recently inked a deal to open Japan’s first casino resort by 2030. The company is also eyeing a casino in the United Arab Emirates.

4. Churchill Downs Incorporated

January share price: $44.11

Share price in December: $46.24

Increase: 10%

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) posted an impressive 49% year-over-year revenue increase in the third quarter of 2023. This contributed to a 40% increase in revenue for the twelve months ended September 2023, reaching $2.38 billion during that period.

Business for the traditional US horse racing brand is booming and its share price may have risen 10% since January. This was recently reinforced by the introduction of sports betting in CDI’s home state of Kentucky. Gov. Andy Beshear placed the state’s first bet on the Churchill Downs race track in September.

The company’s stock price reached a high of $149.08 in May this year, an increase that coincided with the value of $149.08Th Carrying out the Kentucky Derby. Betting stakes reached a new record of $288.7 million, up about 5% from the previous year.

However, CDI has been embroiled in controversy. The company’s share price gradually fell after the Derby amid an investigation into horse deaths that baffled officials. CDI was forced to cancel races on its Spring Meet calendar after a dozen horses died at its Kentucky track. Officials could find no evidence that the track surface was the cause of death, and racing resumed in August.

Regardless, it was another solid year for CDI and one hopes it can maintain that momentum heading into 2024.

3. Light & Miracles

January share price: $59.38

Share price in December: $87.85

Increase: 48%

iGaming provider Light & Wonder (formerly Scientific Games) has experienced one success after another in 2023. This continued in the latest reported third quarter, as the company reported record growth in both its SciPlay and iGaming revenues. It marked the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit year-over-year growth, contributing to year-to-date revenue of $2.13 billion, up 17% from 2022.

Slot machine sales recorded continued growth of 23%.

This success is due to a number of factors. First, slot machine sales have shown steady growth, up 23% in the third quarter of 2023. Likewise, revenue from gaming operations is increasing, particularly in North America, where it has grown over the past 13 quarters. Notably, iGaming sales in the US increased by 25% in the third quarter, and this growth is expected to increase further following the recent launch of a live casino in Michigan.

The company also completed its $500 million purchase of SciPlay. The company bought the remaining 17% of the company while also shifting its lottery division to Brookfield Business Partners for $5 billion. Matt Wilson, CEO of Light & Wonder, claimed that his company’s financial growth validated these business moves.

All of this has helped Light & Wonder’s share price rise steadily since the start of the year, reaching $87.85 in December. To put that in perspective, that’s a 250% increase in share price compared to five years ago. November also brought an all-time high of $88.39.

2. Play AGS

January share price: November 5th

Share price December: 7.71

Increase: 51%

The second provider on our list is the US-based company PlayAGS, also known as AGS. Although AGS is still a much smaller company than others on this list, AGS’ standout year cannot be ignored. Revenue increased 14% in the third quarter of 2023 as the company reported strong growth across all three business segments. This is particularly true for device sales, which rose 30% to $27.8 million.

This success was partly due to a series of contracts that PlayAGS secured this year. This includes an agreement to provide online gaming content to Caesars Sportsbook and Casino, which was signed in January. The deal includes Caesars operations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and it is an agreement that AGS General Manager Interactive said would help strengthen Caesars’ “position as a leading operator.”

PlayAGS shares have risen 51% over 2023, reaching a high of $7.94 in July. This total price remains dwarfed by the $32.04 price the company secured in 2018. However, the company is back on track after the pandemic brought a rapid decline to just $1.44 in 2020.

1. DraftKings

January share price: 11.63

Share price December: 37.19

Increase: 220%

Last but not least, we move into the ever-growing world of sports betting for one of the biggest names in the industry. Just 12 years ago, DraftKings was in a very different situation. The US-based sports betting giant made our top losers list of 2022 after its shares fell 57% this year. This was thanks to a number of challenges, including missed forecasts, a hacker attack and rising marketing costs.

The company surpassed its largest competitor, FanDuel, for market share in the United States

This year, things have taken a major turn for DraftKings. The company recently overtook its biggest competitor, FanDuel, for market share in the US. The company now has an online gaming share of 31%, compared to FanDuel’s 30%. The numbers include both iGaming and sports betting, while FanDuel remains at the top in betting alone.

Matt Kalish, President of DraftKings North America, shared a graphic on X to illustrate the growth:

There has also been a significant increase in sales. DraftKings reported third-quarter revenue of $790 million, well above forecasts, while losses were significantly narrower than expected. Shares rose more than 11% last month after the news was announced, which included a 57% year-over-year increase in sales. The average monthly number of unique players also increased by a staggering 40% to 2.3 million during this period.

Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of DraftKings, attributes this in part to continued expansion in the US, including the recent launch of an online sportsbook in Kentucky. The company is also awaiting licenses and regulatory approvals in Maine and North Carolina.

Clearly, the sports betting giant is far from slowing down, and the 220% increase in its share price reflects this. The company still has a long way to go to reach its high of $71.98 secured during the pandemic in 2021, but it is certainly moving in the right direction after a turbulent 2022.


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