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FLL > SEC Filings for FLL > Form 10-K on 10-Mar-2014All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for FULL HOUSE RESORTS INC



Annual Report

Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

Forward Looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, relating to our financial condition, profitability, liquidity, resources, business outlook, market forces, corporate strategies, contractual commitments, legal matters, capital requirements and other matters. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor for forward-looking statements. We note that many factors could cause our actual results and experience to change significantly from the anticipated results or expectations expressed in our forward-looking statements. When words and expressions such as:
"believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "plans," "intends," "objectives," "goals," "aims," "projects," "forecasts," "possible," "seeks," "may," "could," "should," "might," "likely," "enable," or similar words or expressions are used in this Form 10-K, as well as statements containing phrases such as "in our view," "there can be no assurance," "although no assurance can be given," or "there is no way to anticipate with certainty," forward-looking statements are being made.

Various risks and uncertainties may affect the operation, performance, development and results of our business and could cause future outcomes to change significantly from those set forth in our forward-looking statements, including the following factors:

? our growth strategies;
? our potential acquisitions and investments; ? successful integration of acquisitions; ? risks related to development and construction activities; ? anticipated trends in the gaming industries; ? patron demographics;
? general market and economic conditions, including but not limited to, the effects of local and national economic, housing and energy conditions on the economy in general and on the gaming and lodging industries in particular;
access to capital and credit, including our ability to finance future ? business requirements;
? our dependence on key personnel; ? the availability of adequate levels of insurance; changes in federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including ? environmental and gaming licenses or legislation and regulations; ? ability to obtain and maintain gaming and other governmental licenses; ? regulatory approvals;
? impact of weather;
competitive environment, including increased competition in our target ? market areas;
increases in the effective rate of taxation at any of our properties or ? at the corporate level; and
risks, uncertainties and other factors described from time to time in ? this and our other SEC filings and reports.

We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of future developments, events or conditions. New risks emerge from time to time and it is not possible for us to predict all such risk factors, nor can we assess the impact of all such risk factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ significantly from those forecast in any forward-looking statements.


We are a leading multi-jurisdictional developer, owner and operator of gaming-related enterprises in regional markets. We have successfully transitioned from a gaming management company to a company with operations that consist primarily of owned casino properties. The repositioning of our business plan is highlighted by the acquisition of Rising Star Casino Resort and the lease of Grand Lodge Casino in 2011 and the acquisition of Silver Slipper Casino and the sale of the management agreement for the FireKeepers Casino in 2012. We actively explore, individually and with partners, new gaming-related opportunities with a focus on acquiring and developing casino properties.

We currently own three casino properties, lease one casino property and we have one management contract to manage a group of related casino properties. These properties are located in four distinct regions of the United States - the Gulf Coast, the Midwest, Northern Nevada and the Southwest.

On March 30, 2012, we entered into a Membership Interest Purchase Agreement with Silver Slipper Casino Venture LLC to acquire all of the outstanding membership interest of the entity operating Silver Slipper Casino in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The purchase was closed on October 1, 2012, for a price of approximately $69.3 million exclusive of cash and working capital in the amount of $6.4 million and $2.9 million, respectively. We entered into the First Lien Credit Agreement on June 29, 2012 and the Second Lien Credit Agreement on October 1, 2012, as discussed in Note 8 to our consolidated financial statements set forth in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, and we used the debt to fund the Silver Slipper Casino purchase price.

On April 1, 2011, we acquired all of the operating assets of Grand Victoria Casino & Resort, L.P. through Gaming Entertainment (Indiana) LLC, our wholly-owned subsidiary. In August 2011, the property was renamed Rising Star Casino Resort. In May 2011, we entered into a three-year agreement with the Pueblo of Pojoaque, which has been approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission as a management contract, to advise on the operations of Buffalo Thunder Casino and Resort in Santa Fe, New Mexico, along with the Pueblo's Cities of Gold and other gaming facilities which in aggregate have approximately 1,200 slot machines, 18 tables games (including poker) and a simulcast area. Our management and related agreements with Buffalo Thunder Casino and Resort became effective on September 23, 2011. As of September 1, 2011, we own the operating assets of Grand Lodge Casino, and have a lease terminating August 31, 2018 with Hyatt Equities, L.L.C. for the casino space in the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino in Incline Village, Nevada on the north shore of Lake Tahoe.

Until March 30, 2012, we owned 50% of GEM, a joint venture with RAM, a privately-held investment company, where we were the primary beneficiary and, therefore, we included GEM in our consolidated financial statements. On February 17, 2012, we and RAM signed a letter of intent with the FireKeepers Development Authority to propose terms of a potential sale of GEM and its management rights and responsibilities under the current management agreement and allow the FireKeepers casino to become self-managed by the FireKeepers Development Authority, in return for $97.5 million. The sale closed on March 30, 2012 and effectively terminated the existing management agreement, which was scheduled to run through August 2016. We also received a $1.2 million wind-up fee equivalent to what our management fee would have been for the month of April 2012.

We conduct gaming operations in four gaming jurisdictions and are subject to regulatory oversight in each of those jurisdictions. Accordingly, we are required to submit regular reports to the gaming authorities in each jurisdiction regarding our operations and from time to time make applications regarding our operations, including financial arrangements entered into by us, and obtaining gaming licenses or findings of suitability of key personnel working at our properties. Such reporting and applications may affect our abilities to obtain financings or loans for our existing operations or expansion opportunities. We believe that we and our operations are in material compliance with all such gaming regulations.

Critical Accounting Estimates and Policies

Use of Estimates

We prepare our consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. Certain of our accounting policies require that we apply significant judgment in defining the appropriate assumptions for calculating financial estimates. The significant accounting estimates inherent in the preparation of our financial statements primarily include our valuation of goodwill and purchase price allocations made in connection with our acquisitions, the estimated useful lives assigned to our depreciable and amortizable assets, asset impairment, bad debt expense, our opinion of collectability of receivables and fair value estimates related to valuation of receivables. Other accounting estimates include management's proper calculation of payroll liabilities such as paid time off, medical benefits, bonus accruals and other liabilities including slot club points and tax liabilities.

Various assumptions, principally affecting the timing and other factors, underlie the determination of some of these significant estimates. The process of determining significant estimates is fact-and project-specific and takes into account factors such as historical experience and current and expected legal, regulatory and economic conditions. We regularly evaluate these estimates and assumptions, particularly in areas, if any, where changes in such estimates and assumptions could have a material impact on our results of operations, financial position and, generally to a lesser extent, cash flows. Where recoverability of these assets or planned investments are contingent upon the successful development and management of a project, we evaluate the likelihood that the project will be completed, the prospective market dynamics and how the proposed facilities should compete in that setting in order to forecast future cash flows necessary to recover the recorded value of the assets or planned investment. We review our conclusions as warranted by changing conditions. By their nature, these judgments are subject to an inherent degree of uncertainty. Our judgments are based on our historical experience, terms of existing contracts, observance of trends in the gaming industry and information available from other outside sources. There can be no assurance that actual results will not differ from our estimates.

Our significant accounting policies and basis of presentation are discussed below, as well as where appropriate in this discussion and analysis and in the notes to our consolidated financial statements. Although our financial statements necessarily make use of certain accounting estimates made by management, except as discussed in the following paragraphs, we believe that no matters that are the subject of such estimates are so highly uncertain or susceptible to change as to present a significant risk of a material impact on our financial condition or operating performance.

Property and Equipment

We define a fixed asset as a unit of property that: (a) has an economic useful life that extends beyond 12 months; and (b) was acquired or produced for a cost greater than $2,500 for a single asset, or greater than $5,000 for a group of assets acquired or produced for a specific capital project. See Note 6 and Note 7 to the consolidated financial statements set forth in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data. Fixed assets are capitalized and depreciated for book and tax purposes. Fixed assets acquired or produced for a cost less than $2,500, our minimum threshold amount for capitalization, are reflected as an expense in our financial statements.

Fixed assets are recorded at historical cost as of the date acquired and depreciated beginning on the date the fixed asset is placed in service. A fixed asset costing less than the threshold stated above is recorded as an expense for financial statement and tax purposes. A fixed asset with an economic useful life that is less than 12 months is expensed for financial statement and tax purposes, regardless of the acquisition or production cost. We evaluate our property and equipment and other long-lived assets for impairment in accordance with the accounting guidance in the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets Subsections of FASB ASC Topic 360-10.

The interest cost associated with major development and construction projects is capitalized and included in the cost of the project. Interest expense is capitalized at the applicable weighted-average borrowing rates of interest. Interest capitalization ceases once a project is substantially complete or no longer undergoing construction activities to prepare it for its intended use.

Depreciation and amortization are computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets or the term of the capitalized lease, whichever is appropriate under the circumstances. Our capital lease asset and liabilities are initially measured at the beginning of the lease term at the present value of the minimum lease payments. Assets under a capital lease which meet the transfer-of-ownership or bargain-purchase option criteria of FASB ASC Topic 840, "Leases", are amortized over the estimated useful lives of the assets. Our depreciation expense is highly dependent on the assumptions we make about our assets' estimated useful lives. We determine the estimated useful lives based on our experience with similar assets and our estimate of the usage of the asset. Whenever events or circumstances occur which change the estimated useful life of an asset, we account for the change prospectively.


Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price over fair value of net assets acquired in connection with Silver Slipper Casino, Rising Star Casino Resort and Stockman's Casino. In accordance with the authoritative guidance for goodwill and other intangible assets, we test our goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment annually or if a triggering event occurs. We evaluate goodwill utilizing the market approach and income approach applying the discounted cash flows in accordance with the provisions of FASB ASC Topic 350, "Intangibles-Goodwill and Other" on an annual basis.

Intangible Assets

Our indefinite-lived intangible assets include trademarks and certain license rights. Gaming licenses represent the value of the license to conduct gaming in certain jurisdictions, which are subject to highly extensive regulatory oversight and, in some cases, a limitation on the number of licenses available for issuance. The value of the Rising Star Casino Resort gaming license was estimated using a derivation of the income approach to valuation. The other gaming license values are based on actual costs. Trademarks are based on the legal fees and recording fees related to the trademark of the "Rising Star Casino Resort" name, and variations of such name. Indefinite-lived intangible assets are not amortized unless it is determined that their useful life is no longer indefinite. We periodically review our indefinite-lived assets to determine whether events and circumstances continue to support an indefinite useful life. If it is determined that an indefinite-lived intangible asset has a finite useful life, then the asset is tested for impairment and is subsequently accounted for as a finite-lived intangible asset.

Our finite-lived intangible assets include customer relationship player loyalty programs, land leases, water rights and bank loan fee intangibles. Finite-lived intangible assets are amortized over their estimated useful lives, and we periodically evaluate the remaining useful lives of these intangible assets to determine whether events and circumstances warrant a revision to the remaining period of amortization. We review our finite-lived intangible assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that their carrying amounts may not be recoverable.

The player loyalty programs represent the value of repeat business associated with Silver Slipper Casino's and Rising Star Casino Resort's loyalty programs. The values of the loyalty programs were determined using a derivation of the income approach to valuation. The valuation analyses for the active rated players were based on projected revenues and attrition rates. Silver Slipper Casino and Rising Star Casino Resort maintain historical information for the proportion of revenues attributable to the rated players for gross gaming revenue. The value of the player loyalty programs are amortized over a life of three years. Loan fees incurred and paid as a result of debt instruments were accumulated and amortized over the term of the related debt, based on an effective interest method.

Revenue Recognition and Promotional Allowances

Slot coin-in is the gross amount wagered for the period cited. The win or hold percentage is the net amount of gaming wins and losses, with liabilities recognized for accruals related to the anticipated payout of progressive jackpots, funds deposited by customers before gaming play occurs (commonly called "casino front money") and for chips and tokens in the customers' possession (outstanding chip and token liability). Changes in our slot win percentages can have a significant impact to earnings.

For table games, customers usually purchase gaming chips at the gaming tables. The cash and markers (extensions of credit granted to certain credit worthy customers) are deposited in the gaming table's drop box. Table game win is the amount of drop that is retained and recorded as casino gaming revenue, with liabilities recognized for funds deposited by customers before gaming play occurs and for unredeemed gaming chips. As we are focused on regional gaming markets, our table win percentages are fairly stable as the majority of these markets do not regularly experience high-end play, which can lead to volatility in win percentages. Therefore, changes in table game win percentages do not typically have a material impact to our earnings.

Key performance indicators related to gaming revenue are slot coin-in and table game drop (volume indicators) and "win" or "hold" percentage. Our typical property slot win percentage is in the range of 4% to 9% of slot coin-in, and our typical table game win percentage is in the range of 5% to 25% of table game drop.

Hotel, food and beverage, entertainment and other operating revenues are recognized as services are performed, net of revenue-based taxes. Advance ticket sales are recorded as deferred revenue until services are provided to the customer. Revenues are recognized net of certain sales incentives, and accordingly, cash incentives to customers for gambling activity, including the cash value of points redeemed by Players Club members, totaling $6.0 million and $6.7 million have been recognized as a direct reduction of casino revenue in 2013 and 2012, respectively. Sales and similar revenue-linked taxes collected from customers are excluded from revenue and recorded as a liability payable to the appropriate taxing authority and included in accrued expenses. Revenue also does not include the retail value of accommodations, food and beverage, and other services gratuitously furnished to customers totaling $19.8 million in 2013 and $15.4 million in 2012. The estimated cost of providing room, food and beverage and other incentives is included primarily in casino expenses.

We recognize the impact on gaming revenues on an annual basis to reflect an estimate of the change in the value of outstanding chips and tokens that are not expected to be redeemed. This estimate is determined by measuring the difference between the total value of chips and tokens placed in service less the value of chips and tokens in the inventory of chips and tokens under our control. This measurement was not consistently performed in past years, but will be performed on an annual basis in the future utilizing methodology in which a consistent formula is applied to estimate the percentage value of the chips and tokens not in custody that are not expected to be redeemed. In addition to the formula, certain judgments are made with regard to various denominations and souvenir chips and tokens.

Customer Loyalty Programs

We currently offer incentives to our customers through customer loyalty programs at each of our properties - the Silver Slipper Casino Players Club, the Rising Star Rewards Club™, the Grand Lodge Players Advantage Club® and the Stockman's Winner's Club. Under these programs, customers earn points based on their level of play that may be redeemed for various benefits, such as free play, cash back, complimentary dining, or hotel stays, among others, depending on each property's specific offers. The reward credit balance under the plans will be forfeited if the customer does not earn any reward credits over a specified time period, or after a specified time period of inactivity, up to a 13-month time period, depending on the specific property's customer loyalty program.

We accrue a liability for the estimated cost of providing these benefits as the benefits are earned. Estimates and assumptions are made regarding cost of providing the benefits, breakage rates, and the mix of goods and services customers will choose. We use historical data to assist in the determination of estimated accruals. Changes in estimates or customer redemption habits could produce significantly different results. At December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012, we had accrued $1.2 million and $1.3 million, respectively, for the estimated cost of providing these benefits. Such amounts are included in "Accrued player club points and progressive jackpots" in our Consolidated Balance Sheets.

Loyalty programs are just a part of the total marketing program. The amount of marketing reinvestment (complimentaries to players, promotional awards, entertainment, etc.) is based on the specific property and competitive assumptions. We track the percentage of promotional and marketing costs compared to gaming revenue for an efficient use and return on our marketing investment. Each of our properties has been faced with a highly competitive promotional environment due to the high amounts of incentives offered by the competition. The Rising Star Casino Resort has been significantly impacted by the substantial promotions offered at the new Ohio casinos.

Share-based Compensation

Share-based compensation expense from stock awards is included in general and administrative expense. See Note 12 to the consolidated financial statements set forth in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data. Vesting is contingent upon certain conditions, including continuous service of the individual recipients. Unvested stock grants made in connection with our incentive compensation plan are viewed as a series of individual awards and the related share-based compensation expense is amortized into compensation expense on a straight-line basis as services are provided over the vesting period, and reported as a reduction of stockholders' equity. We grant shares of restricted stock, rather than options, to key members of management and the board of directors.

Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements

We have reviewed authoritative standards issued after December 31, 2013. As a result, we determined that the new standards are not likely to have any significant impact on our future financial statements.

Results of Operations

A significant portion of our operating income in 2012 and prior years was generated from our management agreements, including agreements with the FireKeepers Casino in Michigan and the Buffalo Thunder Casino and Resort in New Mexico. The FireKeepers management agreement ended March 30, 2012, with the sale of our interest in GEM. The Buffalo Thunder Casino and Resort management agreement is in effect through September 2014. There can be no assurance that the Buffalo Thunder management agreement will be extended. Consistent with our long-term strategy, we have acquired gaming properties and have transitioned from primarily a management company to primarily an owner/operator of regional casino operations. With the acquisition of Rising Star Casino Resort in 2011 and Silver Slipper Casino in 2012, and the leasing of Grand Lodge Casino in 2011, our results of continuing operations have been significantly impacted and our revenues are currently primarily derived from owned operations.

For purposes of our discussion, references to (i) Midwest segment refers to Rising Star Casino Resort, (ii) Gulf Coast segment refers to Silver Slipper Casino and (iii) Northern Nevada segment refers to Grand Lodge Casino and Stockman's Casino.

We believe the impact of the lost revenues from the sale of our interest in GEM and the FireKeepers management agreement was diminished with the acquisition of the Silver Slipper Casino, as well as the Rising Star Casino Resort and Grand Lodge Casino operations.

Indiana gaming tax legislation was recently passed, which allows a portion of the free play to be tax-free, resulting in a savings of $1.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, for the Rising Star Casino Resort. In addition, as part of the legislation, if Rising Star Casino Resort's gross gaming revenues are less than $75.0 million during the State of Indiana's fiscal year ended June 30, 2014, we may be entitled to additional tax relief currently estimated at $2.5 million per year, beginning on July 1, 2014.

Year Ended December 31, 2013 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2012


For the year ended December 31, 2013, total revenues increased $16.0 million, or 12% as compared to 2012, principally related to $51.6 million in revenue in our Gulf Coast segment, representing a full year of operations at Silver Slipper Casino, which we purchased on October 1, 2012, offset by a $17.1 million, or 20%, decrease in our Midwest segment revenues as a result of increased competition and a $5.6 million, or 77%, decrease in our development/management segment revenues as a result of the sale of our interest in GEM and the FireKeepers management agreement on March 30, 2012.

The $17.1 million decrease in our Midwest segment revenues was the result of lower casino revenues at the Rising Star Casino Resort, primarily as a result of increased competition due to the opening of an Ohio racino in December 2013, a new casino in Cincinnati, Ohio, in March 2013, and two casinos in Columbus, Ohio in 2012, coupled with an overall soft market growth.

The $16.0 million increase in total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2013 consisted of the following changes by revenue type: an $18.9 million, or 17%, increase in casino revenues, a $1.7 million, or 28%, increase in food and beverage revenues, a $0.1 million, or 18%, increase in hotel revenues, and a $0.7 million, or 32%, increase in other revenues, offset by a $5.5 million, or 77%, decrease in management fees, as discussed above. The increases in casino and food and beverage revenues were due to the revenue at the Silver Slipper Casino, representing a full year of operations, offset by a $16.5 million, or 21%, decrease in casino revenues and $0.7 million, or 18%, decrease in food and beverage revenues at the Rising Star Casino Resort, due to increased competition as discussed above. The Rising Star Casino Resort's hotel revenue for the year ended December 31, 2013 was $0.6 million, an increase of $0.1 million, or 18%, over the prior year due to the addition of the 104 new rooms in November. The Rising Star Casino Resort had an occupancy rate of 90%, an average daily rate ("ADR") of $63 and hotel revenue per available room ("RevPAR") of $57, for the year ended December 31, 2013, as compared to an occupancy rate of 97%, an ADR of $63 and RevPAR of $61, for the year ended December 31, 2012. The Rising Star Casino Resort's hotel revenue consisted of approximately 89% of complimentary room sales for the year ended December 31, 2013, as compared to approximately 90% of complimentary room sales for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Operating Costs and Expenses

For the year ended December 31, 2013, total operating costs and expenses increased $17.5 million, or 15%, as compared to 2012, as a result of the purchase of the Silver Slipper Casino operations with $47.7 million in operating costs for the full year. Casino expenses increased by 7.6% to approximately $67.8 million in 2013 and food and beverage expenses increased by 31.4% to approximately $7.8 million in 2013, principally due to a full year of operations at Silver Slipper Casino in 2013. Hotel expenses increased $0.1 million, or 20%, primarily due to the addition of the new 104-room hotel tower at the Rising Star . . .

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