Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment has published its Q4 results for the year ended December 31, 2018. Headline figures show that gaming revenues increased 4.2% to $35,868,000 compared to $34,435,000 for the fourth quarter of 2017. Slot machine and table game win were both higher, and sports betting win improved as a result of recently expanded sports wagering in Delaware. These increases were offset by lower wagering on horse racing compared to last year.
Other operating revenues of $10,764,000 were up 9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 from an increase in food and beverage and rooms revenue. Occupancy levels in the Dover Downs Hotel were approximately 83% and 80% for the fourth quarters of 2018 and 2017, respectively.
General and administrative costs were $1,242,000 for the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to $1,297,000 last year. Costs incurred during the fourth quarter related to the company’s pending merger with Twin River Worldwide Holdings were $325,000. Including the merger related costs, the Company’s pretax earnings were $686,000 compared with a ($235,000) pre-tax loss for the fourth quarter of last year.
Net earnings were $419,000, or $.01 per diluted share compared with a net loss of ($841,000) or ($.03) per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2017. The fourth quarter of 2017 results were impacted by the Tax Cuts and Job Act, which resulted in an income tax expense of $662,000, or ($.02) per diluted share.
For the year as a whole, total revenues increased 2% to $179,931,000, while pretax earnings were $417,000 compared to a pretax loss of ($619,000) in 2017. Excluding merger related costs, pretax earnings for 2018 were $1,507,000. Capital spending was $4,826,000 for the year ended December 31, 2018 as compared to $2,193,000 for 2017.
CFO Tim Horne summarized Dover Downs’ gaming performance, telling investors: “Gaming revenues presented here consist of slot wins, table wins, sports betting and iGaming win and horseracing commissions, reduced by the amount of complimentary items provided to gaming customers of approximately $3.8m.
“Our pure gaming win increased 4.4% compared to last year and complimentaries were up a little more, resulting in the approximately $39.3 million of gaming revenue shown here. Our slot win was up about 3.5% compared with the fourth quarter of last year, and that’s the highest quarterly slot win growth that we’ve seen since the first quarter of 2012. The regional market is still very competitive, but, overall, our patrons have increased their trip frequency. Our table win was up 10% in the quarter, largely from a higher hold percentage than last year.”