MGM Appoints Bill Hornbuckle as the Permanent CEO

Bill Hornbuckle has been appointed as the permanent CEO of MGM, after being in the role of the interim CEO for more than four months. MGM Resorts International announced their decision this week, saying that they expect Hornbuckle to continue doing a good job.

Hornbuckle stepped in as the interim boss of MGM in March, after the former CEO Jim Murren retired. The interim CEO had been given a very tough challenge, but he’s managed to see the company sail safely through an unprecedented crisis. As a result of a good job done during the COVID-19 pandemic, MGM awarded Hornbuckle with a permanent contract.

Who is Bill Hornbuckle?

A graduate of UNLV, William J. Hornbuckle IV has more than 30 years of experience working in Las Vegas. His first major breakthrough in the ranks of MGM Resorts International came in 2012 when he led the company to develop the $800 million-worth resort MGM Springfield.

When Jim Murren decided to retire in March 2020, Hornbuckle was appointed the interim CEO. At first, the idea was that he’d stay in the role until a more experienced CEO was found. However, the COVID-19 pandemic happened then.

Being able to lead the company through the hardest times in its history made MGM realize Hornbuckle was the right man for the job. In the official statement, the company spokesperson praised his handling of the crisis, saying:

“There are few tests of leadership greater than what Bill has faced… (His) steady hand has provided reassurance and confidence to our employees, partners, guests, and shareholders…”

Even though Hornbuckle did a fine job to guide the company through the crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic did cause huge losses to MGM Resorts International.

COVID-19 Ruins MGM’s Revenue

The same day MGM announced their decision to appoint Hornbuckle as the permanent CEO, the company also released revenue figures for the period before June 30.

As it turns out, MGM’s total revenue generated from April to the end of June was only $289.8m. We say “only” because that’s a 91% drop compared to the same period last year.

In Las Vegas, which is one of the company’s main sources of revenue, the profits have dropped by 90%. Things would be even worse if it weren’t for the fact that Las Vegas casinos returned back to business on June 4.

Over in Macau, MGM China saw a revenue drop of 95%. The company’s three-month revenue was only $33 million, the main reason being the COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed in Macau. As a result of it, visitors from China and Hong Kong haven’t be able to come to Macau for the last couple of months.

MGM Casinos Reopening Around the US

The worst seems to have passed for MGM, as most of the company’s properties are back in business. There is a total of 18 casinos within the United States that are owned by MGM, 14 of which have already reopened after the COVID-19 hiatus.

MGM Grand Detroit should be the next one to reopen as Michigan governor has okayed the casino return in this state. If everything goes according to the plan, MGM’s casino will reopen on August 7. MGM Empire City would be the one to follow next, although much still remains unclear with the COVID-19 situation in New York, whose governor still hasn’t announced the exact reopening dates.

Mirage and Park MGM in Las Vegas, however, will probably remain closed until next year, as suggested by Hornbuckle. The reason for this decision is that the reopening at 50% capacity would not bring desired profits, while potentially cannibalizing other casinos on the strip, including MGM Grand.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Las Vegas Casinos are Back in Business After COVID-19 Hiatus

Las Vegas casinos are back to business after more than two months. On March 17, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered the shut-down of all non-essential businesses in the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, all of the nearly 140 Las Vegas casinos ended up closed to visitors for nearly three months.

The 2020 Las Vegas lockdown was the only time the entire Strip was shut down since the assassination of JFK. Even in 2017, when the Las Vegas shooting happened, not all casinos and resorts on the Strip decided to shut down.

Las Vegas Casinos Reopen to Public on Thursday

For nearly three months, Las Vegas was a real ghost town. In mid-March, all of Sin City’s casinos closed down, together with bars, restaurants, and even strip clubs. There was one strip club that tried to stay in the business during the lockdown, advertising “coronavirus-free” dancers, but it too had to shut down eventually.

The days of lockdown are finally over in Las Vegas, with casinos starting to reopen as of Thursday, June 4. Business, however, is not as usual. At least, not for the moment being. In order to be allowed to reopen, Las Vegas casinos are required to make some changes.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has issued a plan for casino reopening that every venue needs to adhere to in order to be allowed to operate. Some of the requirements stipulated by this plan include a reduced number of visitors, increased frequency of cleaning, and so on.

Some Casinos Seem to Be Ignoring Social-Distancing Guidelines

Casinos, as well as players, were super-eager to get back to reopen the casino doors. Once that happened on Thursday, the enthusiasm caused people to break some social-distancing rules.

The footage from all over Las Vegas shows that people have been ignoring the new anti-coronavirus rules inside the casinos. Visitors seem to be gathering around in large groups, sitting next to each other while playing slots and other casino games.

The good news, however, is that all the evidence is pointing out that the casino staff has been at top of the game.

Sin City Hopeful of Recuperating from the Crisis

Everyone in Las Vegas seems to be thrilled by the news of casinos reopening. The reason is that the local economy is very reliant on the casino industry. According to the Nevada Resort Association, “no other state depends on tourism at the magnitude as Nevada.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the state, and in particular its biggest city Las Vegas, billions of dollars in damage. So far, it’s estimated that Nevada has lost over $2 billion, with the potential economic damages measured in tens of billions of dollars.

The worst has passed, but now it’s time for the state to get back on its feet. Las Vegas casinos are open once again, but the number of tourists is still very low. The good news is that as the COVID-19 measures are loosening up, the number of visitors is expected to go upwards dramatically.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Ex-MGM Resorts CEO to Lead Nevada’s Coronavirus Task Force

  • COVID-19 prompts Nevada to shut down casinos and set up a relief task force
  • Former MGM CEO Jim Murren appointed head of the task force
  • Murren’s expertise will help contain the outbreak, Nevada Gov. Sisolak says

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the now-retired MGM CEO Jim Murren has been selected for the job of heading the coronavirus relief effort in Nevada.

MGM’s Former Number One at the Helm of Nevada’s COVID-19 Task Force

Jim Murren will be leading the newly established COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force, announced Governor Steve Sisolak this Sunday afternoon, following the closure of Nevada’s casino for 30 days. According to Gov. Sisolak, the experience that Murren has in a handful of industries will help Nevada’s healthcare system and ultimately lead to containing the outbreak.

Murren became a part of MGM in 2008 and for the past 12 years as CEO. It wasn’t long after his retirement in February that he was appointed a head of the new task force. Gov. Sisolak noted that Murren’s position is unpaid, voluntary and due to start straight away.

Murren’s first job on the list will be to allocate/source all of the useful assets from the private sector that can help in the fight with the coronavirus.

Considering Murren’s vast experience and contacts in Asia and the Middle East, it is expected from him to greatly help Nevada. Murren took part in a COVID-19 tourism industry round table with President Donald Trump and other White House leaders early in March so the announcement of Sisolak came at the right moment.

Gov. Sisolak noted that Murren will help the state receive the needed personal protection equipment, COVID-19 test kits and other essential supplies that the federal government cannot source currently. Sisolak also added: “Jim Murren can open doors that otherwise, I, as governor, can’t open up,”.

Some in Nevada Has Its Doubts About Addressing the Outbreak

Nevada state reaction was mixed as Jon Ralston, an old-timer editor and reported of The Nevada Independent questioned why a gaming insider such as Murren was picked. Ralston deemed that Gov. Sisolak was handling the crisis quite well so far but did note on Twitter that his announcement can face a bit of criticism.

Driven by fear of spreading the virus, states ordered the closing of many businesses and casinos. A lot of US leagues canceled their entire seasons or banned their fans from watching the games live, in person.

MGM did not stand idle by and took action to close all of its Strip casinos in Vegas. Only a few days after this decision, on Thursday, Sisolak ordered a state shut down for 30 days of all gambling establishments.

Murren noted that “There’s nothing more important right now than helping our state and each other through this crisis”. He continued with: “When we defeat this pandemic, I am confident that our state will come roaring back, as we have from the great hardships of the past.”

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.