- Bill Hornbuckle appointed by MGM as permanent CEO.
- Casinos keep reopening across the US, some, however, refuse to do so.
- Poker legend Daniel Negreanu having a great time with online WSOP.
On Thursday, Bill Hornbuckle was named the CEO of MGM Resorts International, the role he’s already been occupying for more than four months. Since March, he’s been the interim CEO, steering the company through the turbulent times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking of the pandemic, even though there are fears of the second wave, the United States has been in the process of reopening. In almost all states, casinos have been allowed to return back to business, although some have decided against it. For instance, a couple of MGM-owned casinos will remain closed until, at least, the end of the year.
One of the consequences of the casino shutdowns in the US is the rise of online casino games. Internet poker, for example, has seen impressive gains over the last couple of months, with even some live poker legends switching their focus to the internet.
Bill Hornbuckle Named the New Permanent CEO of MGM Resorts
William J. “Bill” Hornbuckle IV is one of the big names in the casino industry, especially in the United States. He’s been employed by MGM since 2012 when his efforts led to the development of MGM Springfield in Massachusetts, the construction of which cost around $800 million.
Still, the biggest story of his career happened this year. In March, he stepped up as the interim CEO of MGM Resorts after the retirement of Jim Murren a few weeks earlier. Hornbuckle took the job literally only a few days before the coronavirus pandemic made Nevada governor Steve Sisolak order the suspension of the casino and hospitality industry in the state.
I am humbled to be able to lead this company as we look toward long-term recovery, future growth and opportunity. https://t.co/qJ9nvxCKpv
— Bill Hornbuckle (@billhornbuckle) July 29, 2020
The former MGM CEO went on to become the leader of Nevada’s task force for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. A challenging task, no doubt about it, but his replacement faced even bigger challenges trying to save such a big company through such turbulent times.
Despite Hornbuckle’s best efforts, MGM Resorts did suffer greatly as a result of the pandemic. The figures released this week show that the company had generated only $289.8 million from April 1 to June 30. The number in question includes the revenue made by all the casinos and resorts owned by MGM, including those based outside the United States.
The good news for MGM and other casinos is that the worst part of the crisis seems to be over. The proof of that is that the number of casinos back in business is constantly growing.
14 Out of 18 MGM-Owned Properties in the US Have Reopened
Most US states have relaxed their anti-COVID-19 measures, allowing casino venues to reopen, albeit not at full capacity. In Atlantic City, we’ve seen Borgata delaying the reopening date, citing the reduced capacity as well as the ban on indoor dining and drinking as the reason.
It’s a similar case when two MGM-owned casinos in Las Vegas are concerned. According to Hornbuckle, Mirage and Park MGM will remain closed until 2021. The reason is that there’s a risk that the reopening would cannibalize the business of other casinos in the area. Furthermore, working at reduced capacity, the two casinos would probably fail to generate the desired revenue.
Two other MGM properties are also still closed, but the CEO’s plan is to reopen them as soon as possible. One of those is the MGM Grand Detroit, which is planned to reopen on August 7. The other property is MGM Empire City in New York, where it’s still uncertain when the state is going to get out of the lockdown entirely.
Daniel Negreanu Loving Online Poker
With land-based casinos still struggling to deal with the consequences of the pandemic, the online gaming industry is booming. Whether it’s online slots, poker, or some other game, online casinos are breaking their records concerning the revenue.
What’s even more interesting is that people seem to have gotten used to playing casino games over the internet. A good example of this is Daniel Negreanu, one of the biggest legends of live poker. In a recent interview, the owner of six WSOP bracelets spoke about his love for online poker.
You’re playing online, it’s very comfortable, I’m playing in my underwear. I’ve spent all month in my underwear. Why put pants on?
Negreanu is currently involved in the 2020 World Series of Poker Online, which is run over the internet, for the first time in history. The tournament has started on the first day of July and will end on September 6.