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Casino landlord’s revenue jumps more than $1B after big Las Vegas buyouts

Casino landlord Vici Properties pulled in more than $1 billion of added revenue last year, after it loaded up on megaresorts along Las Vegas Boulevard.

New York-based Vici, the biggest property owner on the Strip, said this week it generated $2.6 billion of revenue last year, up 72.3 percent from roughly $1.5 billion in 2021.

But its expenses also shot higher, and overall profits didn’t climb nearly as fast as its revenue. Vici said it booked almost $1.14 billion in net income last year, up 11 percent from $1.02 billion in 2021.

A Caesars Entertainment spinoff, Vici was launched in 2017 but now has a real estate portfolio that spans many of Las Vegas’ biggest casino-resorts, including Caesars Palace, The Venetian, The Mirage, Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand.

These and other properties in its portfolio are leased to operators that pay rent to Vici.

All told, Vici owns tens of thousands of hotel rooms in Las Vegas, with around 660 acres along the Strip, and has said it generates some 45 percent of its total revenue here.

‘A city like no other’

John Payne, Vici’s president and chief operating officer, said in a call with analysts Friday that the Las Vegas market overall is “producing record results.”

He cited “robust” leisure business, the return of meetings and conventions, and high visitor levels.

More than 38.8 million people visited Las Vegas last year, up 20.5 percent from 2021, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Overall, the Strip generated almost $8.3 billion in gambling revenue in 2022, up 17.1 percent from the year before, the tourism agency reported.

“In essence, we believe consumers did not find a replacement for the experience offered by the Las Vegas market, nor do we believe they ever will,” Payne said Friday.

Later in the call, he noted that Las Vegas is set to host a Formula One race later this year and the Super Bowl in early 2024, both of which are expected to draw enormous volumes of visitors and generate windfalls of spending.

“It’s a city like no other,” Payne said. “We talk internally, is there a city performing better than Las Vegas in the world? And we’re not sure we can find one.”

Big buyouts

Vici, whose holdings on the Strip consisted of Caesars Palace and Harrah’s by the end of 2017, vastly expanded its portfolio in America’s casino capital with a pair of high-priced acquisitions that closed last year.

In one deal, it acquired The Venetian, Palazzo and former Sands Expo and Convention Center from casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. Vici bought the real estate for $4 billion as part of a $6.25 billion buyout with investment giant Apollo Global Management.

Vici also acquired MGM Resorts International’s real estate spinoff in a $17.2 billion deal, giving Vici ownership of several MGM-operated properties along the Strip, including Park MGM, Luxor and Excalibur.

Two recent deals further cemented Vici’s hold on the Strip. It took full ownership of MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay last month, acquiring financial giant Blackstone’s stake in the properties for almost $1.3 billion in cash and the assumption of nearly $1.5 billion in debt.

Vici also announced in December it was providing up to $350 million — part of a $2.2 billion construction loan from multiple lenders — to the developers of Fontainebleau Las Vegas on the north Strip.

The Review-Journal is owned by the Adelson family, including Dr. Miriam Adelson, majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., and Las Vegas Sands President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Dumont.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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