MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) is the latest Las Vegas casino operator to be allowed by regulators to return to 100% occupancy ahead of the July 1 target date for all of the industry to operate at full capacity.
Earlier this month, Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) became the first casino to return to 100% capacity on its gaming floors after 88% of its employees received COVID-19 vaccinations. Nevada had previously raised the capacity limits from 50% to 80%, and is planning to let all casinos go to full capacity by the summer.
As one of the largest casino operators on the Las Vegas Strip, MGM ought to be able to use the opportunity to help offset the decline in visitors to the city since the pandemic began. Through March, which is the latest data available, visitor volume is down 40% from 2019.
MGM said all nine Strip properties will operate at 100% capacity on their gaming floors with no social distancing requirements imposed. The 80% restrictions, however, will still be in effect in MGM’s restaurants, pools, and nongaming areas.
CEO Bill Hornbuckle said the casino would continue doing its part to minimize risks for employees and guests. “We will continue working to vaccinate as many people as possible and remain vigilant with health and safety protocols designed to protect our employees, guests, and community.”
At the end of April, MGM reported revenue was down 27% to $1.6 billion, though losses had improved substantially to $247 million compared with $1.3 billion a year ago. Strip revenue, though, was down 52% year over year compared to 2% declines at its regional properties.
Unlike Wynn and Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS), which are heavily dependent upon China for revenue, MGM derives around 80% of its revenue from the U.S.
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