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Las Vegas-based Full House excited about sports-betting deals

New sports wagering deals inked by Las Vegas-based Full House Resorts Inc. in the third quarter has CEO Dan Lee shooting for the big leagues.

The small regional casino company with Nevada properties at Lake Tahoe and in Fallon and operations in Mississippi, Colorado and Indiana, signed deals with three partners to offer sports betting in Indiana and Colorado.

Colorado voters will determine the fate of sports betting in the state Tuesday, and most analysts expect it to pass.

Full House signed partnerships with Louisville, Kentucky-based Churchill Downs Inc., British betting exchange operator Smarkets and Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts Ltd. to operate sportsbooks in Indiana and Colorado. Full House partners with William Hill and has maintained a sportsbook for about a year at its Silver Slipper Casino in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

“By far, the most important thing in the quarter were the sports wagering agreements we signed,” Lee said in a conference call with investors on Thursday. “To some extent, we got lucky on this. Two of the states that opted to pass enabling legislation were Indiana and Colorado and we happen to have casinos in those two places.”

Lee said his company has received a one-time $3 million access fee for Indiana operations with $3 million more expected to be received if Colorado voters ratify sports betting. Lee said under the contract signed with his partners, Full House would receive a minimum total of $7 million annually from Indiana and Colorado, but amounts could be higher because the company will get a percentage commission.

The revenue boosts from sports betting will help finance an expansion and parking garage project at its Bronco Billy’s property in Cripple Creek, Colorado, near Colorado Springs. The company also has submitted a proposal to build a luxury resort using the American Place brand in Waukegan, Illinois. Full House is one of three finalists in the process that is expected to be completed in 2020.

Revenue and net income rose fractionally in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. For the quarter, the company reported net income of $1.6 million, 6 cents a share, on revenue of $44.3 million.

Full House shares, traded on the Nasdaq exchange, were up 2 cents, 0.8 percent, to $2.48 a share on trading volume slightly below average on Thursday.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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