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Full House Resorts fourth-quarter loss blamed on winter weather

13 March 2014

LAS VEGAS -- Full House Resorts, Inc. Wednesday blamed a 2013 fourth-quarter loss of $2.3 million on extreme winter weather conditions.

Executives with the Las Vegas-based gaming company, which owns and manages several properties across the country, blamed the severe weather, along with fallout from a government shutdown that kept gamblers away during the three-month period that ended in December.

In a conference call with shareholders, chairman and CEO Andre Hilliou called regional gaming trends “soft,” but also pointed to increased competition in the Midwest.

“While we don’t traditionally look to blame the weather for our woes, we know that it had a discernible impact in the fourth quarter,” Hilliou said. “As weather has begun normalizing in late February, we have seen revenues improve to a level more consistent with our internal expectations.”

The fourth-quarter decline equated to about 13 cents per share.

In September, the company broke ground on a new hotel tower at its Silver Slipper Casino on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. That tower is expected to open later this year.

Mark Miller, chief operating officer, also blamed the government shutdown for a drop in business, particularly at Silver Slipper, which has a “high number” of customers who work for the government.

“We definitely saw them tightening their gaming budgets,” he said.

Meanwhile, the company’s Rising Star Casino Resort casino in Indiana was forced to contend with new casinos in Ohio.

Overall, revenue declined 23 percent from the same period the prior year, similar to hits Full House Resorts took in the second and third quarter of 2013.

The company also owns Stockman’s Casino in Fallon, and has a lease agreement for the Grand Lodge Casino at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort in Incline Village.

Northern Nevada operations dipped 5 percent, according to Miller, mostly because of “continued weakness” at the Stockman’s property in Fallon, where the largest employer is the Naval Air Station.

In the past 52 weeks, the firm’s share price has bottomed at $2.34, with a high of $3.32.

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