Interview with Innovation Capital’s Matt Sodl

Have you ever wondered what it would take to invest in your very own casino? Where would you get the money to do so, and how would it even come together? After all, if the “house always wins,” wouldn’t it be nice to be a part of the house?

URComped CEO Craig Shacklett had the opportunity to sit down with one of the men who makes those kinds of dreams come true, Matt Sodl. Sodl is the founding partner, President, and Managing Director of Innovation Capital. Sodl shares his story on how he and his company put casino buyers and sellers together, in order to transform everyone’s casino dreams into reality. Listen to podcast version.

Matt Sodl, Founding Partner, President & Managing Director:
Innovation Capital | Courtesy Innovation Capital

Sodl explains that he began his career following a stint at Columbia University. The three-year Ivy League football starter says he always enjoyed finance. After graduating from Columbia, he moved to Southern California to obtain his Masters in Business Administration and ended up working for Citigroup Leveraged Finance. It was here that he “learned a lot about leveraged buy-outs and highly-leveraged transactions from a commercial bank’s perspective” (2:19). This experience led to his desire to do more conventional investment banking involving public offerings, which ultimately led him to a company called Schroder Wertheim. There, he met  leading gaming hospitality and research analyst John Rose. Sodl says working at Schroder Wertheim taught him about the industry, and he met a ton of Senior Executives who were up in commerce through the gaming industry. Sodl says he “cut his teeth” there, learning the business. That experience led him to Merrill Lynch, working in their gaming leisure practice in Los Angeles, where he worked for about five years before leaving to start Innovation Capital in the early 2000s.

Craig noted that Sodl’s rise in the industry corresponded with the increase in Tribal gaming across the United States. Sodl explains that he noticed a hole in funding for these smaller casinos. The large investment banks had the capital for the major casinos, and there was a need for financing for these mid-level properties–and he believed doing so would have a “lot of opportunities to create relationships and build a firm really focusing on those mid-sized companies” (5:00).

For Sodl, his business is based on relationships. As he explains, “When a tribe or a company in a casino is looking to buy, build, or expand their casino, the first thing we need to do is to hire a Gaming Consultant to help them dictate how big that market opportunity is. How much revenue do they think they’ll be able to generate from the slot machines that they could have their property?” (6:25). Then they “retain and engage.” Innovation Capital then puts together the marketing documents to sell that business. From there, they orchestrate an auction to bring in qualified buyers. In addition, “we determine who’s the most qualified buyer from a financial perspective from a licensing standpoint and who could really get the deal done. When we determine who that party is, we enter into… our client enters into a definitive agreement with the buyer of the property. And we help work with the legal team to go get those documents in shape and that deal gets signed, it gets submitted” (8:25). His firm is paid when that buyer gets licensed and is deemed worthy by that state to buy that property and the transaction closes. Conversely, for those looking for capital, it works the same way, as his company’s job is to source out the most attractive financing available. His company differs from the major companies, like Merrill Lynch, by taking on the smaller players. Innovation Capital is doing the same type of work, just making it accessible to the smaller players in the gaming world, which enables them flexibility.

Innovation Capital also sets itself apart by dealing with a lot of Tribal Casinos, which are built on Sovereign Land. Because of this, investors can’t take a lien out on the property, as they would in a traditional casino environment. Instead of traditional property liens, the lender now has interest in the machines themselves. As Sodl explains, “the lenders have the level of the leverage by virtue of their ability to shut off the machines and work that out with the tribe, which they would never do. But it gives them the financial leverage to negotiate with the tribe. The tribe doesn’t want those machines shut off because that cash flow provides distributions to the tribe, which they need. But the lenders need to get paid interest. So a negotiation needs to take place between the tribe and the lenders because ultimately both parties are aligned. The deal needs to work for both interests” (15:47).  

Craig was curious as to how an outside group without gaming experience would go about purchasing a casino–and even if that is feasible. While Sodl says it has happened, it is not very common, due to “management execution reasons” (24:39). Because there are financial as well as regulatory and licensing issues, it is difficult to make those types of deals work. That said, it is Innovative Capital’s job to vet these entities out to see if the deal can be made and if so, they are willing to facilitate.

Finally, Sodl says he doesn’t foresee an influx of casinos looking to sell off anytime soon, even in the light of COVID closures. According to Sodl, there has been such a “pent up demand” for gaming that casinos are thriving even with reduced capacity (30:11).  

So, what is on the horizon, in Sodl’s mind? He says sports and Internet gaming. According to Sodl, COVID closures created an increased demand for gaming from one’s home. He explains that the lack of sports due to COVID has also created a thirst that casinos can quench as we continue to see sports begin once again. And while the casinos make very little on sports betting, Sodl says casinos that offer enhanced sports betting opportunities will create greater brand loyalty, and ultimately, more consumers. 

Matt Sodl is the founding partner, President, and Managing Director of Innovation Capital, a leading boutique investment bank dedicated to representing mid-market clients in the gaming, leisure, restaurant, and retail industries.

URComped CEO, Craig Shacklett, interviews Innovation Capital’s founding partner, president and managing director, Matt Sodl to dive deeper into the process of buying and selling casinos, how innovation capital got started, how has COVID-19 affected these M&A deals, and more!

(0:00- 0:19) Craig Shacklett: Hi everybody Craig from Comped Travel and URComped here. I’ve got a very special guest, Matt Sodl. He is the Founding Partner, President and Managing Director of Innovation Capital. Matt, thank you for being here.

(0:19– 0:22) Matt Sodl: Happy to be here. Happy to be here. Good to join you.

(0:22– 0:28) CS: So Matt why don’t we lead off by telling everybody what is Innovation Capital. What do you guys do?

(0:28– 1:00) MS: We are a boutique investment bank financial advisory firm that focuses on providing mid-market companies in the gaming leisure hospitality and retail restaurants category. And we advise them on doing transactions, whether it be raising capital, advising a mergers acquisitions, helping them with their balance sheets to the extent that they get into trouble with creditors evaluations and fairness payments.

(1:00– 1:42) CS: So where… I want to get in. I’ve got a lot of questions about what you guys do. I think it’s fascinating. But when we go back… So I am doing research for this. I saw that you were a stud football player. Actually we talked a little bit off-camera about how your son is coming up. He’s going to be a stud as well. And so you grew up in rural Pennsylvania, not exactly land of high finance. But your all-state football career took you to Colombia where you were a three-year starter on the Columbia football team in New York City. And you earn Ivy League honors. So that’s amazing. I’m envious of your football career. Now when you… Connect the dots between playing football at Columbia to ultimately having Innovation Capital in Southern California.

(1:42– 3:28) MS: Sure. After Columbia I went to work for a small investment bank on Wall Street for three years. I wanted to pursue an MBA after that three-year stint. And ended up coming out to Los Angeles and I went to UCLA. Got my MBA in the early nineties. And always had an interest in finance because of the value creation that capital brings to pair for companies. So got my MBA. I went to work for Citigroup Leveraged Finance where I learned a lot about leveraged buy-outs and highly-leveraged transactions from a commercial bank’s perspective. We banked a number the biggest Supermarket LBO’s. It took place in the mid to late nineties. And after that I want to do more conventional investment banking involving public offerings. And I did offerings. And more M and A from an advisory perspective. Then I went to work at a company called Schroder Wertheim which had a leading gaming hospitality and research analysts in the name of John Rose. And in that banking practice, I got to learn the industry, meet a ton of Senior Executives in the industry who were up in commerce through the good gaming industry. And I cut my teeth in learning the business. And I ultimately went to work for Merrill Lynch in their gaming leisure practice in Los Angeles. Was there for about five years before leaving there and going to start Innovation in the early 2000.

(3:28– 3:40) CS: So in the late… Middle late nineties was California tribal gaming already exploding at that point? And what was kind of the landscape of gaming in the U.S.

(3:40– 4:04) MS: It was… When I was at Merrill it was just about the time that they entered their compact with the governor of California to legalize commercial gaming. And that set in motion a ton of casino gaming financing in the state and candidly across the country.

(4:04– 4:15) CS: And is that what prompted you to start Innovation Capital? You see an opportunity on the horizon. You’re like, “I gotta launch my own business.” Or what happened?

(4:15-5:08) MS: I thought the business that in the late nineties was all about. Particularly, Merrill Lynch- A large firm was all about a pay-to-play kind of mentality a meaning. If a large Investment Bank has it was willing to extend credit to large gaming companies like MGM or Mirage or whomever. That’s how you get… That’s how you win business. And I wanted to do more… I wanted to do more mid-market banking because I felt like I’d be able to have much more of an impact. And candidly, I saw this opening in the mid-market. It was way underbanked. And felt, at that time, there’d be a lot of opportunities to create relationships and build a firm really focusing on those mid-sized companies.

(5:08– 5:34) CS: Now when… I don’t know what investment making is like but I mean this sounds like the stakes are super high. I’ve looked at your website. Some of the transaction sizes. There’s two commas. I even saw three comma deal in there. So when you decide you want to launch Innovation Capital were there some non-competes and some things you had to fight through in order to leave Merrill Lynch? Or was it pretty straight forward? Or was that like…

(5:34– 6:50) MS: No, forward… Business was … The business was all about relationships that we didn’t really have any non-competes. What I end up doing is setting-up the firm was looking at where all the gaming expansion were taking place. I saw that getting into a lot of the tribes and smaller companies was built upon relationships. So I ended up partnering and creating our firm Innovation Capital with a number of partners that were in the gaming feasibility business. When a tribe or a company in a casino is looking to buy, build or expand their casino. The first thing we need to do is to hire a Gaming Consultant to help them
dictate how big that market opportunity is. How much revenue do they think they’ll be able to generate from the slot machines that could have their property?
When they build, so are my partners at this Consulting Firm Innovation Group. They had tons of relationships across the country that I felt could be monetized
by creating a financial advisory services to those… to their businesses.

(6:50– 6:59) CS: And we got into a lot of doors based upon those relationships. And so for people that aren’t familiar with Investment Banking. What are… How do you guys make money?

(6:59-9:26) MS: So we get retained and engage. It was called engaged in a form of a contractual letter agreement with that company. And it’ll be on a very specific mandate to execute a transaction. So if a company is looking to sell their business as an example, we, as a firm, will put together a do our due diligence. We’ll put together a marketing document to sell that business to other third-party buyers. We put together projections with the management team of that company. We put pretty pictures. We make it look nice. And then we go out on an exclusive basis to run a M and A process. We then orchestrate an auction that to bring qualified buyers to the table we ask for bids and initial round. And then we have those parties compete against each other based upon price and terms. And then we determine who’s the most qualified buyer from a financial perspective from a licensing standpoint and who could really get the deal done. When we determine who that party is we enter into ..our client enters into a definitive agreement with the buyer of the property. And we help work with the legal team to go get those documents shape and that deal gets signed it gets submitted. Regulatory authorities whether it be in Colorado or whichever state they’re in And when that buyer gets licensed and is deemed worthy by that state to to buy that property. The transaction closes. We get paid successfully and we go on our way. That’s a sell side M and A process. Financing work similarly. But you’re instead of reaching out to perspective buyers. You’re going out to financing sources and trying to get the best financing execution for your client. Once that’s completed, we get paid a success fee. So the business of investment banking is working on behalf of your client to represent their interests, to get the best execution. And we get paid. We get compensated nicely when that transactions done for our success.

(9:26– 9:49) CS: And you’ve touched… You touched on that. Thank you for that. Excellent explanation. And you touched on a little bit about what sets Innovation Capital apart from… Maybe… The Merrill Lynch is of the Goldman Sachs for the huge investment banks. But maybe you could drill a little further. Like… What do you think within gaming lets you guys deliver more value than one of these larger investment banks?

(9:49-11:07) MS: I think the breath of the relationships that we have. We really know candidly everyone in the industry from large, medium to small including both commercial gaming operators, native American operators, travel operators, as well as, commercial gaming equipment companies. Still we are… We really covered the entire industry in depth. I think large firms tend to be very… They can be very narrowly focused on executing the big deals. The bankers at those large firms, they get paid to do billion-dollar deals. And we are not afraid to take on smaller deals because we know that is part of the relationship. Our client may need us to do that deal which may lead us to a bigger deal down the road. So with a lot of ways, we are a lot more nimble and flexible in terms of the types of deals we do and in terms of the category. We tend to look at a lot more things than the bigger firms.

(11:07– 11:38) CS: Now… So getting into… This is… This sounds like specifically like the sell side or buy side negotiations. Is the starting point always of a casino already been built? Is it always just EBITDA? I know that’s like seems to be from an outsider. It seems to be the number the financial numbers thrown around most often. So is that generally like a multiple of EBITDA? Does that… What you start out and try to argue for a bigger multiple or lesser depending on which side negotiation you’re on? What are those negotiations like?

(11:38-12:38) MS: EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization which is a financial number that is representative of the company’s free cash flow. That is the number and the metric that is used to value businesses. Apply terminal multiples on that EBITDA. That’s how you arrive at the enterprise value of the company. In some situations where companies don’t make EBITDA. It becomes an exercise in determining what cost savings could be taken out of that business to result in a… For the buyer standpoint, what they can make off that acquisition at which point it becomes a lot more creative in terms of thinking how to make deals.

(12:38-12:49) CS: And then again, this is from your website. I noticed so there’s sell side buy side. And then I also saw there’s Placement Agent and Financial Advisor. I mean, real quickly. What’s the difference between those two?

(12:49– 13:51) MS: A Placement Agent really acts that role. Really acts and serves as we’re directly placing companies debt or equity as an example with an investor. We get paid a success fee when that deal closes. Financial Advisor on a financing is where we would let’s say in a larger financing as an example. We would act as an F.A. but we would bring in a third party large underwriter who let’s say it’s a five hundred million dollar debt offering where you need to have twenty five to thirty investors in the deal. Large firms are better equipped with their capital market desks to sell that large transaction. To which point we advise our client. And we work with that large underwriter in that place. And they’re in fact… They’re the Placement Agent in that situation. So we get paid success fees both ways now.

(13:51-14:25) CS: So one thing that’s unique about gaming is that so many of the clients that you work with are technically on sovereign land because they’re a tribe.So a lot of… Imagine a lot of the recourse that most creditors could get if somebody defaults on the loan. They may not be able to on sovereign land. So what steps mabe do you have to do? Or what’s different about setting up a big debt financing for tribal land versus maybe US publicly traded company?

(14:25-16:06) MS: Yeah. So commercial casinos the lenders that can have a security interest in the underlying real property as a mortgage lender would have the ability to do that for your home. They get a mortgage. They get an interest to lean in the underlying property. On commercial gaming the only real lean or security interest you can have is in the revenue and the gaming equipment. Can’t have it a lean in the underlying land because it’s… Or end of property because it’s owned by the tribe. And their department is only licensed to have the ability to own that property.So lenders effectively have… Their interest is in the machines. So if situation goes bad and ultimately a work that needs to take place. The lenders have the level of the leverage by virtue of their ability to shut off the machines and work that out with the tribe which they would never do. But it gives them the financial leverage to negotiate with the tribe. The tribe doesn’t
want those machine shut off because that cash flow provides distributions to the tribe which they need. But the lenders need to get paid interest. So a negotiation needs to take place between the tribe and the lenders because ultimately both parties are aligned. The deal needs to work for both interests.

(16:06– 16:24) CS: That sounds like pretty strong leverage the bank has. I mean, considering how strong it is again ultimately cut off the cash flow to the casino. Do you see a premium? Is there still a higher cost of lending or to borrowing for the tribes? Then maybe a commercial casino.

(16:24– 17:05) MS: I think there is in here a premium. that the tribes do pay for capital because of the fact that the bar or the creditors can’t have a security interest in all of the assets. It’s probably a couple hundred basis points is what that we say. But some of these large tribes are among the most profitable casinos… Own the most profitable casinos in the country. So they borrow at very cheap rates even though those lenders only have a security interest in the revenues in the machines. But it’s a case-by-case basis.

(17:05-17:27) CS: So a lot of these casinos, as you mentioned, they’re super profitable. I mean, I’m in Dallas. We’ve got a couple that are right over the border, Win star and Choctaw Durant. I heard the numbers they do are just mind-blowing. So a lot of these casinos are stacking up cash. Why do they need to borrow money?

(17:27-18:56) MS: Because many of the tribes see opportunities to continue to grow their businesses without adding more square footage to their casino footprint. Adding more machines. Because they want to… Just be clear. If there are no constraints put on them by the state government. They will get as big as they can in terms of number of options. I mean, some of the casinos have four, five thousand slot machines in the country. Make them huge. But they had
a retail dining entertainment. They had sports facilities. So they borrow to finance those expansions. But the tribes in the business of owning these businesses
so they can take the distributions and pay them out for their tribal government to put in place social programs, health education. And also putting distributions out to their members. That’s why they’re in business. So they’ll borrow money because they don’t want to… They don’t necessarily want to put all their own liquidity into these properties. They rather use other third-party cheap money. And can maintain a distributions and funding into tribal government.

(18:56-19:30) CS: Thank you. That’s a perfect explanation. Makes a lot of sense. And then also you represented a massive transaction that… I don’t care how much a tribes making. I don’t think they are sitting on a billion dollars plus… maybe they are. But that the Poarch Creek Band used to buy Sands Bethlehem. And for me, I’m not sure if that was the first time a tribal government had purchased a big property off the reservation. But it was the first one that came across my radar. So maybe you could talk about how that you came about in the significance of that purchase.

(19:30-21:30) MS: So we were hired by Poarch Band Creek Indians to execute a diversification strategy for them. And we looked at a number of different properties. They had a desire to kind of expand within the southeast and look for some very sizable properties. It’s public they made a purchase intention
for property in Bossier City, the Margaritaville. That was there that deal fell apart over Margaritaville kind of trademark licensing issues. But then the tribe subsequently went and bought a couple of properties down the Carribbean. And those were more resort amenities. It enabled them to offer vacation type rooms for their customer based in southeast to go and visit for their good players. And then they continue to be interested in diversification. Las Vegas Sands was in the middle of negotiating. And this is all public, so I can talk about it. Las Vegas Sands was in the middle of negotiating with MGM. Deal was rumored to be falling apart. There was a discussion that took place and Las Vegas and was interested in selling. Selling at a certain number. And that ultimately became the number we still ended up selling it for 1.3 billion. And we stepped in there and the tribe has certainly hadn’t done a deal that large before
so third-party financing had to be executed and we ended up partnering with another large firm to get that done. And it got done. Really well-executed in capital markets.

(21:30– 22:00) CS: So diving a little bit deeper. So you’re… Because I actually do remember. I’m glad you refresh my memory that MGM was trying to buy that property. You already have the relationship with Poarch and you knew they wanted diversify. So were you reading the newspaper reading online that this deal was already starting to go sideways and then you call Sheldon Adelson or like. Did they inquire about it? Or maybe getting a little more detail. So I think it’s just fascinating

(22:00– 22:59) MS: I could only say so much but I would say that we were retained as the Poarch’s financial advisor who execute a diversification strategy.
So we’re looking at number different properties. And we track literally every M and A deal. And our potential deal that’s out there on a daily basis. It was pretty widely known that there were issues are taking place in that deal. Between these large companies when they buy and sell properties it generally happens pretty quickly and it’s going to happen. But the deal was being extended and delayed for whatever reason. And we saw that as an opportunity and Poarch Band of Creek Indians ended up reaching out to the… Through our relationships into Las Vegas Sands and end up making it happen.

(22:59– 23:18) CS: So Sands and that deal with Snads was on the market. And I’ve heard it said to that they didn’t feel like it fit their kind of their model/property in Bethlehem. But the let’s say that the casinos in the Caribbean were those on the market that… And those are…

(23:18-23:19) MS: Being widely shopped.

(23:19-23:32) CS: You said they were being widely shopped. And is that generally how these went inside when you’re buy side? Is that generally how these casinos make a known? “Hey, we want to sell.” It’s not so much you’re picking up the phone like, “Would you guys be interested in selling or?”

(23:32– 24:36) MS: Generally, if you’re on the buy side it runs the gamut from properties being shopped to approaching properties that are not on the market. And when you approach a seller or a company that’s not on the market generally the responses, “No, thank you.” Or “Sure.” I’m for sale but need some time to think about it.” But generally these are not cold calls. They’re calls in two companies we know and have long relationships with. And ultimately you have to find that right balance between a sellers saying, “I am willing to sell but I want… a billion dollars for it.” Or someone who’s going to be reasonable because ultimately it comes down to buying these things on a multiple leave though. And the market is pretty well established.

(24:36– 25:18) CS: Now how often does an outside group that does not have experience in gaming come and say “Hey. I want to buy a casino.” And I ask this because I spent some time in Lake Tahoe. That’s where I got into gaming. And Lakeside Inn which was like the local spot closed down due to COVID.
And some were like, “Hey. I wonder what it would take to buy that casino.” So this is a kind of indulging in a fantasy. But how often do people from outside of gaming come and seriously make an attempt to buy a casino? Do you have any experience in these types of transactions? Or what’s that like?

(25:18– 28:09) MS: It happens. But generally those situations don’t end up working out. Candidly for management execution reasons. When we are representing a seller of a casino we’re approached by guys all the time. We say, “I would love to buy this property.” For the first things we do is we ask a couple questions. Number one. What’s your financial wherewithal? Liquidity. And what is your ability to get licensed? And who’s your management team? And if we don’t have clear cut very black and white answers to those questions. Generally, they won’t be permitted into a process. If it’s fuzzy on the financing side.
Well, I’ve got this oil well. Were filled and we can raise third-party bonds in Europe. And their bearer bonds. And we get… We hear those stories. That’s one example. Generally not credible. And if someone says, “Oh. My uncle was a casino manager thirty years ago.” So I had a little bit about casinos again.
Not generally someone that would stand up well in an M and A process and in front of regulators. And then the third element is, “Can they be licensed?”
And if we don’t get a clear-cut yes on that answer, it’s not gonna… We wouldn’t let that party in. Because ultimately, the questions we’re asking are the easy ones. The gaming regulatory bodies. Whether it be in the regional state or Nevada or Atlantic City. They asked extremely difficult questions. And they have examiners who could come unannounced to your house and ask to go through your file cabinets. Because they’re looking. Ultimately what they want is they want casino owners to come in who are going to pay their bills. So they want to know that the party that they’re investigating isn’t someone who’s not going to pay their taxes and always hiding a misdemeanor or felony or you get the picture. So they want clean-cut guys who don’t have a track record negatively. Who are financially viable. Who have gaming experience. Who come in and run these properties. Because ultimately, when things don’t go well it creates issues
for these gaming regulators.

(28:09-28:30) CS: Understood. Because with our business URComped we were a marketing entity that… We’re involved in gaming. In some respect we don’t have to get that key license. But it’s still a pretty thorough investigation we have to do. Now, with you being involved in the big financial transactions, are you having to jump through in your regulatory hoops?

(28:30-33:18) MS: We as a firm are licensed by Syndra, which is a division of the SCC. So we’re broker-dealer firm. So we have financial regulatory elements that we have to adhere to. We’re audited. And we’re licensed better 3763 and what not. We are treated the same categories every other investment bank in the United States.

(33:18-29:28) CS: Got it. Okay. But you do not have to go to the Nevada Gaming Control Board or anything like that? Which makes sense because you’re not turning on a slot machine or anything? So with the current situation casinos are being put in financial situations that they never imagined where for months at a time they are being closed down. How do you see this current situation will impact M and A deals over the next twelve, eighteen, twenty four months.

(29:28– 31:02) MS: Evaluations have come down a touch. Certainly. I think the pace of M and A activity aside from the deals that are taking place because they have to. I don’t think you’ll see sellers in this environment proactively put their properties on the market. Because the financing market is just not what it once was. Companies are willing to take a certain amount of risk. Will they level up their balance sheets to go make another acquisition if they feel it’s perfectly priced? I think they would. But it better be a well-thought-out deal. COVID with closures. Property closures. With social distancing. Limitations being put on these properties. Some of these properties only have twenty-five percent of the casino floor open. Some have fifty. But I’ll tell you the numbers that these casinos are putting up even with shrunk casino force they’re doing phenomenal numbers. Because there is so much pent-up demand. And because they had these casino businesses have had to really take a look at their cost structure shrink it to a point where it’s just you’re just buying beat basic amenities for their customers. So they’re producing pretty good Kapitan numbers, which bodes well.

(31:02-31:19) CS: That’s interesting. Well, this has been fascinating from my end. And I appreciate you telling me that if I want to buy Lakeside Inn I need to have the financial wherewithal. I need a management team. So I’ll work on that. Is there anything else that I didn’t ask you about? Or anything interesting going

(31:19-32:55) MS: The one thing I would add is internet gaming and sports betting. Those are two things that are out there. And you see some states like New Jersey as an example and Pennsylvania as well. They have internet gaming. So folks are able to gamble from their homes. That has proven to be a huge growth part of the business this year. So look for that to continue to be a trend that could perhaps spread across the country estates. Look for other ways to monetize gaming to fix their state budgets. So that’s one. And two, sports betting. While we don’t have sports today. We will certainly at some point. You got the NBA, NFL, MLB. Let’s hope that we’re able to navigate these COVID spikes to have sports. But there is such a pent of demand for sports betting. It’s going to be huge. So look for that to be another. And many another thing that consumers are able to have. But just to be clear casinos don’t make much money off of sports betting. They take a four to five percent on every bet. But it balances out. It’s at the end of the day. It comes down to providing an amenity that creates more brand loyalty for the customers. So look for those two things to be near term trend here as we roll out in the next twelve months.

(32:55-33:07) CS: Matt, thank you so much. I’m glad we started talking about sports and your sports career. And now we’re wrapping up talking about sports betting. So it is a perfect circle. Hopefully, we can do this again. This is fascinating.

(33:07– 33:12) MS: Very good. Thanks for reaching out and all of your readers. We’ll talk down the road.

(33:12-33:18) CS: Thank you.



When Stace is not in the casino trying to finally get her first hand pay, you will find her at work as a Housing Counselor or in class, pursing her doctorate in strategic leadership. She is a music trivia ringer, having spent 30 years as a morning radio personality, and mom to 17 and glam-ma to 28 and counting (yes, really!). Her favorite ports (so far) are St Maarten and Ketchikan.

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