Talk about timing.
A Las Vegas-based gaming company found itself front and center during one of stock market’s wildest days on record.
Officials from Everi Holdings, the renamed Global Cash Access, were invited to ring the opening bell for trading Monday at the New York Stock Exchange. Monday was the first day the company was traded under its new symbol, EVRI.
Moments after Everi CEO Ram Chary rang the bell, the Dow tumbled almost 1,100 points.
By the end of the day the market had rebounded somewhat, with the Dow closing down 588 points.
Maybe ringing the opening bell had some benefits. Everi was one of the few companies that actually closed up Monday, finishing at $4.94, an increase of 8 cents or 1.65 percent.
The name change away from Global Cash Access and new branding signified the company’s transition from providing the gaming industry with more than just payment processing equipment. Everi bought slot machine maker Multimedia Games last year for $1.2 billion.
Chary was joined on the New York Stock Exchange podium by a dozen Everi officials.
“We are redefining our organization following our successful transition to a full-service casino gaming equipment and payments solutions provider,” Chary said in a statement.
Shares of most Las Vegas-based gaming companies, except Caesars Entertainment Corp., suffered with the rest of the market,
The casino operator’s shares closed at $8.97, up 95 cents or 11.85 percent, following a Friday night announcement the company had reached a deal with its top bank lenders over restructuring terms for its largest operating division. Caesars hopes to trim almost $10 billion of debt through the restructuring of Caesars Entertainment Operating, Co., which was placed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January.
Also over the weekend, Reuters reported that Caesars settled charges of anti-money laundering lapses at Caesars Palace with the Justice Department and the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, agreeing to pay a penalty of $20 million. The Nevada Gaming Control Board is a party to the deal.
Caesars declined comment Monday. In May, Caesars said in a securities filing that it was in discussion with FinCen to settle the allegations and facing a fine of between $12 million and $20 million.
Stock market volatility in the United States stemmed from fears about the Chinese economy. By the time the markets opened Monday, the Chinese stock market had reported its worst decline since 2007.
Casino companies with large holdings in Macau felt the pinch from investors.
Las Vegas Sands Corp., declined $1.94, or 4.04 percent, to close at $46.05 on the New York Stock Exchange. Wynn Resorts Ltd. closed at $76.48, down $5.29, or 6.47 percent, on the Nasdaq. The companies operate multiple casinos in Macau, which has experienced 14 straight months of decline in gaming revenue.
MGM Resorts International, which operates one Macau casino, saw its stock price fall $1.05 or 5.10 percent to close at $19.54 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Other gaming shares suffered also. Boyd Gaming Corp. closed at $15.50, down 53 cents, or 3.31 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange, and Penn National Gaming closed at $17.24, down 45 cents, or 2.55 percent, on the Nasdaq. Tavern and slot route operator Golden Entertainment bucked the trend and closed at $8.80, up 3 cents, or 0.34 percent, on the Nasdaq.
The gaming industry’s two largest slot machine makers also experienced stock market declines. International Game Technology fell 89 cents, or 5.23 percent, to close at $16.13 on the New York Stock Exchange. Scientific Games Corp., fell 73 cents, or 6.84 percent, on the Nasdaq to close at $9.94.
Earlier in the day, Janney Montgomery Scott gaming analyst Brian McGill told investors Scientific Games is being challenged for market share by smaller companies as it works through this year’s $5.1 billion buyout this year of Bally Technologies.
McGill said investors have an “endless obsession” with “synergies” (cost cutting efforts) with the merged company.
“The concern among industry contacts is that while Scientific Games is continuing to find ‘synergies,’ the rest of the industry is actually spending more,” McGill said. “Competitors such as Aristocrat, IGT, Everi, Konami and the smaller manufacturers are ramping up research and development.”
Contact reporter Howard Stutz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3871. Find @howardstutz on Twitter.