Digital at the heart of Boyd’s strategy in 2021

After a turbulent 2020, Boyd Gaming is optimistic about retail attendance figures as it focuses on digital solutions in 2021 y.

Boyd Gaming’s newfound commitment to online gambling will drive the company’s growth in the coming years, says Boyd CEO Keith Smith. With Covid-19 cutting into search engine operators retail gambling, Boyd Gaming has joined hard rock and Las Vegas Sands Corporation in assessing the potential benefits of applying a digital gaming product.

During a conference call this Tuesday, Smith confirmed that the company sees strong returns from online gaming. Boyd has been able to position itself in the online gaming market through its association with FanDuel, which has allowed the company to access markets in Iowa, Indiana, Illinois and not least Pennsylvania.

Online sports betting alone added about $10 million last year, Smith said. Boyd is already exploring digital opportunities through the BoydPay wallet in Nevada. This cashless payment solution could herald a new era for gambling establishments. With sports betting already an important factor, Boyd plans to launch an online casino next year.

Smith confirmed the news, saying the Pennsylvania-based iGaming platform is expected to contribute around $20 million in cash flow this year alone. Online gambling is a clear growth opportunity, the head of the company added, praising Fanduel’s leadership in the highly dynamic market.

Financial results-it’s only a temporary setback

Admittedly, this talk of ambitious changes was part of a complicated announcement. Boyd Gaming posted a net loss of $134.7m in 2020 and revenues fell 34.5% to $2.18bn. Boyd was struggling after a pandemic forced properties to close and held them for the next few months.

Las Vegas, the revenue driver, declined 73.9% in the fourth quarter, meaning the recovery was expectedly slow. Without business travellers to feed off the destination strip, Boyd faced a tough new reality.

With the BoydPay mobile wallet now under development, Smith expects the solution to be rolled out in Louisiana, Kansas and Pennsylvania by April this year. Delays may arise depending on how quickly regulators issue permits.

However, the company wants the wallet to be launched in every retail property. The cashless payment technology has received approval from many companies in the United States. These include IGT and the American Gaming Association (AGA), a trade group.

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