The casino sector is one part of the broader gaming industry focused on leisure and resort properties and casino gaming activities. Companies in the sector own and operate casinos, resorts, hotels, ski facilities, and racetracks worldwide. The sector also includes companies involved in online gambling. Big-name casino companies in the sector include Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN), and MGM Resorts International (MGM). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies with large physical casinos experienced dramatic quarterly declines in revenue and earnings in 2020. That was followed by a gradual rebound in the first half of 2021, though business remains below pre-pandemic levels. During this period, online gambling has surged as rising numbers of consumers sheltered at home. The Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to weigh on the recovery despite vaccine rollouts and reopening economies.

The VanEck Gaming ETF (BJK) is used as a benchmark to gauge the performance of the casino industry. However, investors should note that it includes non-casino gambling stocks that have different investment characteristics, such as DraftKings Inc. (DKNG), an online sports betting company. BJK has slightly outperformed the broader market, providing investors with a total return of 37.5% compared to the 35.7% total return of the iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB) over the past 12 months. These market performance numbers and the statistics in the tables below are as of Sept. 9, 2021.

Here are the top 3 casino stocks with the best value, fastest growth, and most momentum.

Best Value Casino Stocks

These are the casino stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Best Value Casino Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
Golden Entertainment Inc. (GDEN) 44.62 1.3 16.5
Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD) 60.80 6.8 20.5
Bally's Corp. (BALY) 47.58 2.1 24.7

Source: YCharts

  • Golden Entertainment Inc.: Golden Entertainment operates as a diversified gaming company. It owns and operates resorts and casinos, pubs and taverns, and distributed gaming.
  • Boyd Gaming Corp.: Boyd Gaming owns and operates gaming properties throughout the U.S. It also operates entertainment, restaurants, shopping, and recreational facilities on its properties.
  • Bally's Corp.: Bally's owns and manages hotels offering amenities such as casinos, retail outlets, sports bars, pubs, dining, and accommodation. The company also owns and manages a horse racetrack. Bally's announced in mid-August that it has acquired Telescope Inc., a provider of real-time audience engagement solutions for live events, gamified screen experiences, and interactive livestreams. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Fastest Growing Casino Stocks

These are the top casino stocks as ranked by a growth model that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly YOY percentage revenue growth and their most recent quarterly YOY earnings-per-share (EPS) growth. Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one or the other figure unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with quarterly EPS or revenue growth of over 2,500% were excluded as outliers.

Fastest Growing Casino Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%) Revenue Growth (%)
Vail Resorts Inc. (MTN) 292.53 11.8 79.7 28.1
Caesars Entertainment Inc. (CZR) 105.89 22.6 N/A (see company description) 1,870
Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) 43.94 33.6 N/A (see company description) 1,790

Source: YCharts

  • Vail Resorts Inc.: Vail Resorts operates mountain resorts and urban ski areas in the U.S. and several other countries. Its resorts include ski mountain complexes, family-oriented mountain resorts, destination resorts with apres-ski activities, and year-round family vacation destinations. The company announced in August that Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Kirsten Lynch has been appointed as chief executive officer (CEO) and elected to the company's board of directors, effective Nov. 1, 2021. CEO Rob Katz will become executive chairperson of the board and will continue to play a key role in the company's strategic decisions and priorities.
  • Caesars Entertainment Inc.: Caesars Entertainment owns and operates a chain of resorts throughout the U.S. It offers casino, poker, roulette, and other gaming facilities. The company also provides food and beverage services. Caesars Entertainment recently announced that it has agreed to sell the non-U.S. assets of sports betting and gaming brand William Hill to 888 Holdings PLC (888) for £2.2 billion ($3.0 billion). The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. Because the company's EPS went from negative in the year-ago quarter to positive in the most recent quarter, an EPS growth rate could not be calculated for the table above.
  • Las Vegas Sands Corp.: Las Vegas Sands owns and operates casino and convention centers in the U.S., Macau, and Singapore. The company offers a variety of gaming activities, entertainment, and overnight accommodations, and expositions. Las Vegas Sands reported a net loss per share in the most recent quarter, which is why an EPS growth rate could not be calculated for the table above.

Casino Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the casino stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Casino Stocks with the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Golden Entertainment Inc. (GDEN) 44.62 1.3 249.1
Red Rock Resorts Inc. (RRR) 45.23 5.3 163.7
Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD) 60.80 6.8 128.1
iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB) N/A N/A 35.7
VanEck Gaming ETF (BJK) N/A N/A 37.5

Source: YCharts

  • Golden Entertainment Inc.: See above for company description.
  • Red Rock Resorts Inc.: Red Rock Resorts operates as a gaming, development, and management company. It owns and manages casino and entertainment properties, including restaurants, movie theaters, bowling, casino gaming, and more. The company announced in late July financial results for Q2 of its 2021 fiscal year (FY), ended June 30, 2021. Red Rock Resorts posted net income attributable to shareholders of $86.7 million, a significant improvement from the net loss of $71.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Net revenue for the quarter rose 294.7%. The company said that the strong revenue growth was primarily due to the abnormally-large, pandemic-induced drop in revenue in the year-ago quarter. Compared to the pre-pandemic second quarter of 2019, net revenue in Q2 2021 was down 11%.
  • Boyd Gaming Corp.: See above for company description.

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