MGM Gets OK for 100% Occupancy on Las Vegas Gambling Floors

MGM's Las Vegas gambling floors can go to 100% occupancy without social-distancing restrictions, Nevada's regulator says.
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MGM Resorts  (MGM) - Get Report shares wavered on Wednesday after the casino titan said Nevada officials approved 100% occupancy with no social-distancing requirements on the gambling floors in its nine Las Vegas properties.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board issued the ruling.

“The waiver was granted based on MGM Resorts' work to vaccinate its workforce and applies only to gaming floors,” MGM said.

“Current 80% occupancy restrictions and three-feet social-distancing policies remain in effect outside of the gaming floors, including at restaurants, pools and other non-gaming areas and activities.

“Additional health and safety protocols will continue, including applicable mask mandates, based on regulatory requirements and expert guidance.”

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The affected properties include Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Park MGM, Mirage Hotel & Casino, New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Luxor Hotel & Casino and Excalibur Hotel & Casino.

The stock recently traded at $38.66, down 0.3%. It has also traded on Wednesday up as much as 0.4%. 

The share-price dip might well be profit-taking on the stock’s 61% surge over the past six months. That gain reflects investor enthusiasm tied to the distribution of COVID vaccines and the prospect that the economy will recover. 

Last month, MGM reported that it swung to a first-quarter net loss from a year-earlier profit on 27% lower revenue. The figures were stronger than Wall Street analysts estimated.

Also in April, Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Allen upgraded MGM to overweight from equal weight. He acted based on his view that the Las Vegas casino market is beginning a “fast, strong recovery, with especially positive booking trends.”