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Boyd confident of attaining “fair share” of NJ online gaming market

31st July 2013 8:02 am GMT

US casino operator Boyd Gaming said Tuesday that it remains on track to be among the first companies to offer online gaming in New Jersey, with the company now focused on the successful development of a full suite of products through its partnership with bwin.party digital entertainment.

Boyd Gaming said that it is encouraged by the long-term growth potential presented by online gaming in New Jersey.

The company intends to offer a full suite of online gaming products including poker, slots and table games under the Borgata brand.

“Working in collaboration with our partners at bwin.party, our New Jersey-based online gaming team is now focused on successful development and launch of a user experience that will represent this brand well,” said Boyd Gaming president and CEO Keith Smith in an earnings call conference following the release of the company’s second quarter results Tuesday.

Keith said that over the last decade, the company has built “tremendous equity” in the Borgata brand, which he claims is widely known and well regarded in the market.

“This brand leads the Atlantic City market by a wide margin and we are confident it will capture more than its fair share of the New Jersey online gaming market as well,” he added.

During the second quarter, net revenues from the Atlantic City casino Borgata fell marginally by 1 per cent year-on-year to $172.9m, with adjusted EBITDA dropping 9 per cent to $27.8m due to a $4.3m property tax charge that was recorded during the quarter.

“In Atlantic City, Borgata overcame a host of challenges to post a strong operating performance that has continued into the third quarter,” continued Keith. “And we are now preparing for the launch of online gaming in the fourth quarter.”

Overall, Boyd reported a 20 per cent increase in net revenues to $738.7m for the second quarter, with total adjusted EBITDA climbing 41 per cent to $160.2m compared to the same period last year, reflecting the addition of the operations of Peninsular Gaming. Net income for the quarter amounted to $11.6m compared to $0.9m a year ago.

“We are making significant progress toward our strategic goals of strengthening our balance sheet and positioning ourselves for continued growth,” said Smith. “Our company is moving in the right direction, and I am optimistic about the outlook for our business.”

Keith added that the company remains on track to be among the first to offer online gaming in the state of New Jersey upon receipt of regulatory approvals.

“Our growth pipeline is solid,” he said. “We have several opportunities to further grow and diversify our business. The most immediate is online gaming, starting with New Jersey and potentially expanding as other states consider introducing various forms of internet gaming.”

Shares in Boyd Gaming Corporation (NASDAQ:BDY) closed at 12.85 per share in New York yesterday, after gaining 18.32 per cent in trading following the announcement.

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