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Caesars Announces Strong Fourth Quarter for 2023

Caesars Atlantic City Hotel Casino New Jersey
Caesars Atlantic City hotel and casino is shown in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP).

Caesars Entertainment recently released pre-earnings estimates that revealed that the fourth quarter was its best of 2023 and a notable increase over the fourth quarter returns from the previous year.

Ceasars Digital Gaining Traction

When Caesars announces its adjusted EBITDA of between $28 million and $30 million on its earnings call on February 20th, it will be welcome news for investors and stakeholders. Considering the company’s adjusted EBITDA was just $9 million for the first nine months of the year, the jump is a significant improvement.

The fourth quarter revenues are estimated at $303 million to $305 million which is a notable increase, 27% to be precise, over the same time last year. And after moderate promotional spending compared to last year, the fourth quarter saw the marketing department increase its efforts with approximately $69 million spent on sports betting, poker, and iGaming promos. This was up $14 million from the $55 million spent in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Although the company’s sports betting handle fell from 12.8 billion last year to $12.1 billion in 2023, Caesars’ online casino handle revealed an increase of over 23% from $8.1 billion in 2022 to $10.7 billion in 2023.

Advertising Rules

While many of the established brands would like to peel back their enormous advertising budgets, new entries like Fanatics and ESPN BET are making that difficult. The new kids on the block want everyone to know they have arrived in the US sports betting market and are desperately seeking to acquire new customers either from the competition or first-time bettors.

Established sportsbooks like Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings must be cognizant of those bold gambits to gain market share by countering them with robust advertising of their own. The data tells us that promotional advertising spiked 10% from September 1st to December 26th to $237.8 million. Naturally, that increase is due to the arrival of the NFL and college football, the most heavily bet sports in North America.

“Sports gambling impressions were up 52% to a total of 20.7 billion — up from 13.6 billion a year ago, primarily due to airings more than doubling (to 59,81) versus 26,950 airings the year before,” reports media industry pundit, Wayne Friedman.

“Sports gambling TV ads have also seen a significant surge on non-sports TV networks, including TBS (3,270 airings); FXX (3,010); truTV (3,130); Discovery Life Channel (2,160); and American Heroes Channel (4,960), to name a few,” remarked Friedman.

During that September 1st to December 26th span, some traditional sports media outlets like ESPN found online betting sites spent less on advertising at their station than they did the year before. But that could be explained by ABC now broadcasting Monday Night Football and other media outlets getting more of a piece of the sportsbooks’ media buys.

“For this year, CBS appears to be a steady TV network in the category, with its Sunday NFL afternoon programming at $31.9 million — coming in at second place in the category to Prime Video. CBS is virtually unchanged from $31.5 million a year ago,” concluded Friedman.

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