Success in the casino industry comes from the ability to adapt. The industry had to adapt to the pandemic, online gambling and a younger customer base. Wynn Resorts’ new CEO, Craig Billings, wants to keep adapting by focusing on non-gaming amenities to help make the company attractive to gamblers and non-gamblers alike.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Billings said the new business strategy begins with Macau.
Strategic shift for Wynn success
Wynn casinos in Macau drive roughly two-thirds of the company’s business. However, China has a zero-tolerance policy on COVID-19, so the operating environment hasn’t been normal since 2019. As a result, $WYNN stock is down 36.48% over the past year.
As of writing, shares of $WYNN were trading at $78.10.
Regardless, Billings, who took over as CEO in February, remains focused on the company’s international sector.
“I’m most excited and fascinated by Macau. I’m kind of a glutton for ambiguity and change,” Billings said.
Wynn and other casino operators in Macau are currently waiting for license renewals. Experts anticipate the Chinese government will seek more economic investments in non-gambling operations. Billings noted the company plans to expand into new business markets and shift focus to younger guests who may or may not gamble.
Billings also said Wynn aims to add more pop-up stores with “cutting-edge designers” to complement its extensive retail lineup. Customers can already browse through popular fashion brands like Chanel and Gucci at its Las Vegas and Boston locations.
Additionally, Wynn wants to build more hotel rooms at its two Macau casinos and is also considering art and cultural attractions and sports facilities.
Wall Street outlook on Wynn
Some analysts remain on the fence when it comes to Wynn stock. Some have argued there are significant risks to relying on China. Others believe the company is an excellent rebound candidate.
Phil Satre, non-executive Chairman of the Board at Wynn, said that things would look different at Wynn when it’s all said and done.
“We’re going to have a changed business there. We’re seeing our customers reflect more of the age group that Craig is in. Baby Boomers to Gen X and Millennias.”
Sports betting shake-up
In January, rumors began circulating that Wynn was trying to offload its online gaming unit, including the WynnBet sports betting app.
The target price was set at $500 million, which is extensively lower than the $3.2 billion valuation Wynn envisioned when it attempted to go public via a SPAC merger.
Since then, Wynn has stopped all national advertising for its sports betting business.
“We would rather step back, reassess our strategy, take a longer view,” Billings said.