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United States

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

Form 10-K

(MARK ONE)

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2023

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM ______TO______

Commission File No. 0-22088

Graphic

MONARCH CASINO & RESORT, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Nevada

88-0300760

(State or other jurisdiction of

(I.R.S. Employer

incorporation or organization)

Identification No.)

3800 S. Virginia Street

Reno, Nevada

89502

(Address of principal executive offices)

(ZIP Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (775) 335-4600

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:

Title of each class

Trading Symbols

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $0.01 par value per share

MCRI

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (Nasdaq-GS)

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. YES NO

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. YES NO

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. YES NO

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). YES NO

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:

Large Accelerated Filer 

Accelerated Filer 

Non-Accelerated Filer 

Smaller Reporting Company 

Emerging Growth Company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by checkmark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to § 240.10D-1(b).

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). YES NO

The aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common equity held by nonaffiliates as of June 30, 2023 (the last business day of the registrant's most completed second fiscal quarter), based on the closing price as reported on The Nasdaq Stock Market (SM) of $70.45 per share, was $1.051billion.

As of February 28, 2024, the registrant had 18,973,479 shares of common stock, $0.01 par value per share, outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Proxy Statement for Registrant’s 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which Proxy Statement shall be filed with the Commission not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this report, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Table of Contents

Item

   

Page
Number

PART I

Item 1. Business

3

Item 1A. Risk Factors

16

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

29

Item 1C. Cybersecurity

29

Item 2. Properties

31

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

31

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

31

PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

32

Item 6. Reserved

34

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

35

Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

45

Consolidated Statements of Income for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021

46

Consolidated Balance Sheets at December 31, 2023 and 2022

47

Consolidated Statements of Stockholder’s Equity for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021

48

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021

49

Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. and Subsidiaries Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

50

Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

66

Item 9A. Controls and Procedures

66

Item 9B. Other Information

70

PART III

Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

71

Item 11. Executive Compensation

71

Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

71

Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

71

Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services

71

PART IV

Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

72

Item 16. Form 10-K Summary

76

Signatures

77

2

PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. was incorporated in Nevada in 1993 and, along with its consolidated subsidiaries, is referred to collectively in this Annual Report on Form 10-K as “Monarch,” “the Company,” “we,” “our,” and “us.” Monarch owns and operates the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, a hotel and casino in Reno, Nevada (the “Atlantis”) and the Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk (the “Monarch Black Hawk”), a hotel and casino in Black Hawk, Colorado. In addition, we own separate parcels of land located next to the Atlantis and a parcel of land with an industrial warehouse located between Denver, Colorado and Monarch Black Hawk. We also own Chicago Dogs Eatery, Inc. and Monarch Promotional Association Inc., both of which were formed in relation to licensure requirements for extended hours of liquor operation in Black Hawk, Colorado.

Our business strategy is to maximize revenues, operating income and cash flow primarily through our casino, food and beverage and hotel operations. We focus on delivering exceptional service and value to our guests. Our hands-on management style focuses on customer service and cost efficiencies.

The Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

The Atlantis is located approximately three miles south of downtown in the generally more affluent area of Reno, Nevada. The Atlantis features approximately 61,000 square feet of casino space; 817 guest rooms and suites; eight food outlets; two gourmet coffee and pastry bars and one snack bar; a 30,000 square-foot health spa and salon with an enclosed year-round pool; one retail outlet offering clothing and gift shop merchandise; an 8,000 square-foot family entertainment center; and approximately 52,000 square feet of banquet, convention and meeting room space. The casino features approximately 1,200 slot and video poker machines; approximately 33 table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette, and others; a race and sports book; a 24-hour live keno lounge; and a poker room. The Atlantis also offers a mobile race and sports betting app which is available to patrons who are physically located within the state of Nevada.

Through an enclosed skywalk, Atlantis is the only hotel facility to be physically connected to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. The Reno-Sparks Convention Center offers approximately 500,000 square feet of leasable exhibition, meeting room, ballroom and lobby space.

Operations at the Atlantis are conducted 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Business is seasonal in nature, with higher revenues during the summer months and lower revenues during the winter months.

Atlantis Casino. The Atlantis offers what we believe to be higher than average payout rates on slot machines relative to other Northern Nevada casinos. We seek to attract high-end players through high quality amenities and services and by extension of gaming credit after a careful credit history evaluation.

Hotel and Spa. The Atlantis includes three contiguous high-rise hotel towers with a total of 817 rooms, more than 100 of which are suites. The rooms on the top seven floors in the third tower are nearly 20% larger than the standard guest rooms and offer restricted elevator access, and a private concierge service.

The Atlantis hotel rooms feature high end design and furnishings as well as nine-foot ceilings, which create an open and spacious feel. The third hotel tower features a waterfall with an adjacent year-round swimming pool in a climate-controlled glass enclosure, which shares an outdoor pool deck with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and year-round whirlpool. The Salon at Atlantis is a full-service salon overlooking the third-floor sundeck and outdoor seasonal swimming pool and offers salon-grade products and treatments for hair, nails and skincare for both men and women. Our Spa Atlantis is a high-end health spa located adjacent to the swimming area that offers treatments and amenities unique to our market. The hotel rooms on the spa floor feature décor that is themed consistent with the spa. The hotel features glass elevators that rise the full 19 and 28 stories of the respective towers providing panoramic views of the Reno area and the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

3

The average occupancy rate, average daily room rate (“ADR”) and revenue per available room (“REVPAR”), calculated by dividing total hotel revenue by total rooms available, at the Atlantis for the following periods were:

Year Ended December 31, 

 

    

2023

    

2022

    

2021

 

Occupancy rate

 

84.50

%  

83.30

%  

82.10

%  

ADR

$

157.64

$

158.54

$

123.18

REVPAR

$

149.99

$

149.11

$

114.85

We continually monitor and adjust hotel room rates based upon demand and other competitive factors.

Restaurants and Dining. The Atlantis has eight restaurants, two gourmet coffee bars and one snack bar as described below:

The 475-seat, Toucan Charlie’s Buffet & Grille, which offers a wide variety of food selections from around the globe including a carving station, live action Pho and Mongolian Bar-b-que, made-to-order salads, artisan charcuterie with a variety of imported and domestic cheeses, and an expansive array of desserts from our in-house bakery including house-made gelato;
The 160-seat Atlantis Steakhouse, a fine dining destination featuring Allen Brothers prime steaks from Chicago, fresh seafood, and numerous tableside presentations of classic steakhouse dishes;
The Bistro Napa, featuring creative wine country cuisine served in a 140-seat main dining room with a central wine cellar and an adjacent upscale 60-seat lounge;
The Oyster Bar on the Sky Terrace offering pan roasts made-to-order, fresh seafood, cioppino, house made chowder and bisques;
Sushi Bar serving creative, made-to-order sushi rolls with a wide variety of raw and cooked options, all offered in all-you-care-to-eat lunch and dinner settings.

The Oyster and Sushi Bar Restaurant can accommodate a combined total of up to 140 guests;

The 178-seat Purple Parrot coffee shop, which serves breakfast and American comfort food 24 hours a day;
The 92-seat Red Bloom Asian kitchen, featuring a modern twist on authentic Asian dishes inspired by the Far East, including flavorful preparations from China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam;
The 170-seat Manhattan Deli featuring authentic New York deli favorites like matzo ball soup, piled high sandwiches, salads, house made soups, bagels and lox, New York style pizza and famous New York cheesecake;
Two gourmet coffee bars offering specialty coffee drinks, “grab and go” sandwiches, house made gelato and freshly baked pastries; and
The Chicago Dogs Eatery, a snack bar, serving Chicago-style hot dogs, pizza, ice cream and arcade-style refreshments.

The Sky Terrace. The Sky Terrace is a unique structure with a diamond-shaped, blue glass body suspended approximately 55 feet, and spanning 160 feet across South Virginia Street, Reno’s main thoroughfare. The Sky Terrace connects the Atlantis with parking on our 16-acre site across South Virginia Street. The structure rests at each end on two 100-foot tall Grecian columns with no intermediate support pillars. The interior of the Sky Terrace houses the Oyster and Sushi Bar Restaurant, a video poker bar, banks of slot machines and a lounge area.

4

The Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk

Monarch Black Hawk features approximately 60,000 square feet of casino space; approximately 1,000 slot machines; approximately 43 table games; a live poker room; a keno counter and a sports book. The resort also includes 10 bars and lounges, a gourmet coffee bar as well as four dining options: a twenty-four-hour full-service restaurant, 250-seat buffet-style restaurant, the Monarch Chophouse (a fine-dining steakhouse), and Bistro Mariposa (elevated Southwest cuisine). The resort offers 516 guest rooms and suites, banquet and meeting room space, a retail store, a concierge lounge and an upscale spa and pool facility located on the top floor of the tower. The resort is connected to a nine-story parking structure with 1,350 parking spaces, and valet parking, with total property capacity of approximately 1,500 spaces. The Monarch Black Hawk also offers a mobile sports betting app which is available to patrons who are physically located within the state of Colorado.

Location. Strategically located at the entrance to Black Hawk, Colorado, Monarch Black Hawk is the first gaming property encountered by visitors arriving from Denver and other major population centers via Highway 119.

Hotel and Spa. The Monarch Black Hawk includes a high-rise hotel tower with 516 rooms, 106 of which are suites. The tower also includes a private concierge lounge and world-class spa and pool deck on its top floor.

The average occupancy rate, ADR and REVPAR at the Monarch Black Hawk for the following periods were:

Year Ended December 31, 

    

2023

    

2022

    

2021

Occupancy rate

 

79.90

%  

75.10

%  

67.90

%  

ADR

$

195.20

$

201.92

$

182.78

REVPAR

$

168.78

$

164.91

$

132.75

Quality. The property is established as a high-quality gaming resort in Colorado for gaming, dining and lodging.

Higher Tier Play. Through its superior product and service, the property is designed to attract and retain the highest tier guests in the Colorado market.

Restaurants and Dining. Currently, the Monarch Black Hawk has four restaurants and a gourmet coffee bar, as described below:

The 250-seat Monarch Buffet, which offers a wide variety of food selections from around the globe including a carving station, live action Pho and Mongolian Bar-b-que, artisan charcuterie, and an expansive array of desserts;
The 160-seat 24/7 restaurant, where guests can savor contemporary American and Asian cuisine 24 hours a day in a sophisticated yet comfortable atmosphere with an emphasis on fresh flavors and quality ingredients;
The 110-seat Monarch Chophouse, a fine dining destination featuring 28-day aged USDA prime cuts of beef chosen for their superior marbling and flavor, fresh seafood, and Colorado lamb in an elegant atmosphere with unsurpassed service and attention to detail;
The 180-seat Bistro Mariposa, showcasing modern Latin-inspired cuisine, the finest high-end tequilas and Colorado craft beers; and
Java, etc., a gourmet coffee bar offering specialty coffee drinks, “grab and go” sandwiches, house made gelato and freshly baked pastries.

Acquisition, Improvements and Additional Expansion Potential

We seek to identify and evaluate strategic expansion and acquisition opportunities through market and detailed financial analyses. We develop overall master plans and then aim to execute each phase of the master plan after re-evaluation of the current market conditions and comparison against other capital investment opportunities.

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We have continuously invested in upgrading our facilities. Capital expenditures were $51.4 million in 2023, $48.4 million in 2022 and $37.8 million in 2021. During the last three years, capital expenditures related primarily to: the transformation of part of the Monarch Black Hawk legacy facility; the major redesign and upgrade of all hotel rooms in the first and second towers and complete renovation of the high-end suites on the top floors of the third hotel tower at Atlantis; the redesign and upgrade of the Oyster and Sushi Bar Restaurant located in the Sky Terrace at Atlantis; the ongoing capital maintenance spending; and the acquisition of gaming equipment at both of our properties.

We have two potential options for expansion at our Atlantis property. First, we could further expand our existing hotel and casino, thereby providing more hotel rooms, casino floor space, restaurants and other amenities. Second, we could develop the 16-acre parcel of land that we own across South Virginia Street from the Atlantis. This site is connected to the Atlantis by the Sky Terrace and is currently used for surface parking and special events related to the Atlantis. Our 16-acre parcel of land meets all current Reno zoning requirements in the event we decide to build another resort casino or entertainment facility. We also own additional land adjacent to our two large sites that would facilitate expansion opportunities through administrative and other non-operational uses.

On August 28, 2015, we entered into a 20-year lease (the “Parking Lot Lease”) with Biggest Little Investments, L.P. (“BLI”) with respect to a portion of the shopping center adjacent to the Atlantis property (the “Shopping Center”). The Parking Lot Lease covering approximately 4.2 acres is used for approximately 300 additional convenient surface parking spaces for Atlantis guests. See Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements; See also NOTE 12. RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS.

Marketing Strategy

Reno/Sparks. Our marketing efforts are directed toward three broad consumer groups: leisure travelers, conventioneers and Northern Nevada local residents.

The Reno/Sparks region is a major gaming and leisure destination with aggregate gaming revenues of approximately $921 million (as reported by the Nevada Gaming Control Board for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023).

Our Atlantis revenues and operating income are principally dependent on the level of gaming activity at the Atlantis casino. Our predominant marketing goal is to utilize all of the Atlantis amenities to generate additional casino play. Our secondary goal is to maximize revenues from our hotel, food and beverage, spa, convention and meeting rooms, retail and other amenities.

We believe the Atlantis’ location south of downtown Reno (near the airport, near major freeway arteries and physically connected to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center) makes the facility appealing to all three groups.

Leisure Travelers: The Reno/Tahoe region is a popular gaming and vacation destination. The principal segments of Reno’s leisure traveler market are independent travelers, package tour and travel guests, guests we reach through internet-based marketing and high-end players. We attempt to maximize our gaming revenues and hotel occupancy through a balanced marketing approach that addresses each market segment.

Independent travelers generally make reservations directly with hotels of their choice, through independent travel agents or through the internet. We strive to attract the middle to upper-middle income strata of this consumer segment through advertising and direct marketing. This segment represents a large portion of the Atlantis’ guests.

The package tour and travel segment consists of visitors who utilize travel packages offered by wholesale operators. We market to this segment through relationships with select wholesalers, primarily to generate guest visits and supplement mid-week occupancy.

We welcome domestic and international reservations on the Atlantis’ website (www.atlantiscasino.com), and we are featured on major package tour and travel websites.

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We market to high-end players selectively through direct marketing and hosts. We utilize complimentary rooms, food and beverage, special events and the extension of gaming credit to attract and maintain patronage from high-end players.

Conventioneers: Convention business, like package tour and travel business, supplements occupancy during lower-demand periods. Conventioneers also typically pay higher average room rates than non-conventioneers. We selectively seek convention and meeting groups that we believe will materially enhance the Atlantis’ occupancy and daily room rates, as well as those we believe will be more likely to utilize our gaming products. This segment was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and still has not recovered to the pre-pandemic level. We believe that the segment will normalize in the near future. We are the only hotel-casino physically connected to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. In our view, Atlantis is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this segment. We believe the Reno-Sparks Convention Center has created, and we expect will continue to create, additional guest traffic for the Atlantis within this market segment that is presently underserved in the Reno area.

We market to all guest segments, including conventioneers, on the basis of the location, quality and ambiance of the Atlantis facility, gaming values, friendly, efficient service, and the quality and relative value of Atlantis rooms, food and beverage offerings, entertainment and promotions.

Northern Nevada Residents: We market to Northern Nevada residents on the basis of the Atlantis’ location and accessibility, convenient surface parking, gaming values, ambiance, friendly efficient service, exceptional quality of food and beverage offerings.

Black Hawk. Our marketing efforts are directed toward patrons from the Denver metropolitan area and Colorado mountain areas. Black Hawk, Colorado is approximately 40 miles west of Denver.

The Denver metro area is an attractive market with a population of approximately three million and a healthy population growth of 16.5% from 2013 to 2023 (national average is 6.5%). Denver metro area median household income in 2021 was 30% higher than the national average ($90,716 vs. $69,717).

Commercial gaming in Colorado is constitutionally restricted to three mountain towns – Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek – which in 2023 represented 77%, 8% and 15% of total Colorado gaming revenue, respectively (Colorado Division of Gaming statistical summaries). These state constitutional limitations and the scarcity of available and developable land in Black Hawk create a strong barrier to new entries in the gaming market, limiting the threat of potential new competition.

The Black Hawk/Central City area gaming market generated approximately $803 million in gaming revenues for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023, according to the Colorado Division of Gaming.

Our Monarch Black Hawk revenues and operating income are primarily dependent on the level of gaming activity in the Black Hawk market. Leveraging our premium location, product and service, we are determined to continue to grow market share by attracting not only Black Hawk gaming guests, but by introducing our new luxurious resort to attract new guests to the market and our property. Our superior lodging, spa and dining products are predominantly intended to drive gaming revenue.

Our cross-property players’ club, “Monarch Rewards,” allows our guests to be eligible to receive rewards and privileges based on the amount of their gaming play and non-gaming spend at both properties, while allowing us to track play patterns through a computerized system. We use this information to determine appropriate levels of complimentary awards and to guide our direct marketing efforts. We believe that Monarch Rewards significantly enhances our ability to build guest loyalty and generate repeat and cross property guest visits.

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Competition

Reno/Sparks. Gaming competition in the Reno area is intense. Based on information obtained from the December 31, 2023 Gaming Revenue Report published by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, there are approximately 12 casinos in the Reno-Sparks area which each generated more than $12.0 million in annual gaming revenues.

We believe that the Atlantis’ primary competition for leisure travelers comes from other large-scale casinos that offer amenities that appeal to middle to upper-middle income guests. We believe that some of our competitors have the advantage of having significantly more guest rooms available for sale than we do. We compete for leisure travelers on the basis of the desirability of our location, the quality and ambiance of the Atlantis facility, friendly and efficient service, the quality and relative value of our rooms, food and beverage offerings, entertainment offerings, promotions and gaming values. We believe that our location away from downtown Reno is appealing to first-time and more affluent guests.

We believe that the Atlantis’ primary competition for conventioneers comes from other large-scale hotel casinos in the Reno area that actively target the convention market segment, and from other cities in the western United States with large convention facilities and substantial hotel capacity, including Las Vegas. We believe that some of our competitors have the advantage of having significantly more guest rooms available for sale than we do. We compete for conventioneers based on the desirability of our location, the quality and ambiance of the Atlantis facility, meeting and banquet rooms designed to appeal to conventions and groups, friendly and efficient service, and the quality and relative value of our rooms and food and beverage offerings. We believe that the Atlantis’ proximity to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, and the enclosed pedestrian sky bridge that connects the Atlantis directly with the Reno-Sparks Convention Center facilities, afford us a distinct competitive advantage in attracting conventioneers.

We believe that the Atlantis’ competition for local guests comes primarily from other large-scale casinos located outside of downtown Reno that offer amenities that appeal to middle to upper-middle income guests, and secondarily with those casinos located in downtown Reno that offer similar amenities. We compete for local guests primarily on the basis of the desirability of our location, the quality and ambiance of the Atlantis facility, friendly and efficient service, the quality and relative value of our food and beverage offerings, entertainment offerings, promotions and gaming values. We believe the Atlantis’ proximity to residential areas in south Reno and its abundant surface parking provide us an advantage over the casinos located in downtown Reno in attracting local guests.

The Atlantis also competes for gaming guests with hotel casino operations located in other parts of Nevada, especially Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, and with hotel casinos located elsewhere throughout the United States and the world. Major Native American owned facilities in California have been very successful, adversely impacting many hotel casinos in Reno. We believe that the Atlantis also competes to a lesser extent with state-sponsored lotteries, off-track wagering, card parlors and other forms of legalized gaming, particularly in northern California and the Pacific Northwest. We believe our numerous amenities, such as a wide array of restaurants, banquet facilities, spa and surface parking are key advantages in our ability to attract local guests that competitor facilities cannot easily match without significant capital expenditures.

We also believe that the legalization of additional land-based casino gaming in or near any major metropolitan area in the Atlantis’ feeder markets, such as San Francisco or Sacramento, could have a material adverse impact on our business.

The legalization of internet poker, sports betting and other forms of internet gaming in additional jurisdictions throughout the United States could create further competition for the Atlantis.

Black Hawk. There is strong competition in the concentrated Black Hawk/Central City area gaming market, which includes approximately 21 casinos as of December 31, 2023, according to the Colorado Division of Gaming report.

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The Black Hawk and Central City gaming markets are geographically isolated. The only other non-tribal gaming market is Cripple Creek, which is seventy-five miles away. There are two federally recognized tribes in southwest Colorado, both with gaming facilities, and both more than 350 miles from Denver. There have been proposals for the development of Native American racetrack and video lottery terminal casinos throughout the state over the years. On two occasions the owners of the Arapahoe Race Track, southeast of Denver, have funded state wide ballot initiatives to allow casino style gaming at the race track. On both occasions, these measures were voted down by the electorate by wide margins. As of December 31, 2023, none of the proposals have been adopted by the state’s electorate or by the legislature. Should any form of additional gaming be authorized in the Denver metropolitan area, the Black Hawk and Central City markets would be adversely affected.

We believe that the Monarch Black Hawk’s primary competition for visitors comes from other large-scale casinos in the market which offer amenities that appeal to the guests’ entire vacation experience including hotel, broad dining choices, as well as other amenities. We compete for patrons on the basis of the desirability of our location, which is the first casino encountered when entering the area on the main thoroughfare, as well as the attractive setting, friendly and efficient service, quality of our hotel, spa and food and beverage offerings. Our resort offers 516 guest rooms and suites, bars and dining options, banquet and meeting room space, a retail store, a concierge lounge and an upscale spa and pool facility located on the top floor of the tower.

Regulation and Licensing

We may not own, manage or operate a gaming facility unless we obtain proper licenses, registrations, permits and approvals. Applications for a license permit or approval may generally be denied for reasonable cause. Most regulatory authorities license, investigate, and determine the suitability of any person who has a material relationship with us. Persons having material relationships include officers, directors, employees, and certain security holders. We believe that we have obtained, applied for, or are in the process of applying for all necessary registrations, approvals, permits, licenses, and findings of suitability with respect to such persons affiliated with our licensed gaming operations, although the gaming authorities, in their discretion, may require additional persons to file applications for findings of suitability.

Licenses, permits, and approvals are revocable privileges, which are not transferable. Regulatory authorities may at any time revoke, suspend, condition, limit, or restrict a license for reasonable cause. License holders may be fined and, in some jurisdictions and under certain circumstances, gaming operation revenues can be forfeited. We may be unable to obtain any licenses, permits, or approvals, or if obtained, they may not be renewed or may be revoked in the future. In addition, a rejection or termination of a license, permit, or approval in one jurisdiction may have a negative effect in other jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions require gaming operators licensed in that state to receive their permission before conducting gaming in other jurisdictions.

In each jurisdiction in which we have gaming operations, the following conditions and restrictions apply:

Periodic license fees and taxes must be paid to state and local gaming authorities;
Certain officers, directors, key employees, and gaming employees are required to be licensed or otherwise approved by the gaming authorities;
Individuals who must be approved by a gaming authority must submit comprehensive personal disclosure forms and undergo an exhaustive background investigation, the costs for which must be borne by the applicant;
Changes in any licensed or approved individuals must be reported to and/or approved by the relevant gaming authority;
Failure to timely file the required application forms by any individual required to be approved by the relevant gaming authority may result in that individual’s denial and the gaming licensee may be required by the gaming authority to disassociate with that individual; and
If any individual is found unsuitable by a gaming authority, the gaming licensee is required to disassociate with that individual.

9

Nevada. The ownership and operation of casino gaming facilities in Nevada are subject to the Nevada Gaming Control Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder, referred to as the “Nevada Act,” and various local regulations. Our gaming operations are subject to the licensing and regulatory control of the Nevada Gaming Commission, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and the Reno City Council, referred to collectively as the “Nevada Gaming Authorities.”

The laws, regulations and supervisory procedures of the Nevada Gaming Authorities are based upon declarations of public policy that are concerned with, among other things:

the prevention of unsavory or unsuitable persons from having a direct or indirect involvement with gaming at any time or in any capacity;
the establishment and maintenance of responsible accounting practices and procedures;
the maintenance of effective controls over the financial practices of licensees, including the establishment of minimum procedures for internal fiscal affairs and the safeguarding of assets and revenues, providing reliable record keeping and requiring the filing of periodic reports with the Nevada Gaming Authorities;
the prevention of cheating and fraudulent practices; and
the provision of a source of state and local revenues through taxation and licensing fees.

Changes in such laws, regulations and procedures could have an adverse effect on our gaming operations.

Golden Road Motor Inn, Inc. (“Golden Road”), our subsidiary which operates the Atlantis, is required to be licensed by the Nevada Gaming Authorities. We are registered by the Nevada Gaming Commission as a publicly traded corporation, or “Registered Corporation.” As such, we are required periodically to submit detailed financial and operating reports to the Nevada Gaming Commission and to furnish any other information that the Nevada Gaming Commission may require. Substantially all material loans, leases, sales of securities and similar financing transactions by us must be reported to, or approved by, the Nevada Gaming Authorities. No person may become a major stockholder of, or receive any percentage of profits from Golden Road without first obtaining licenses and approvals from the Nevada Gaming Authorities.

The Nevada Act requires any person who acquires more than 5% of Monarch’s voting securities to report the acquisition to the Nevada Gaming Commission. The Nevada Act requires that beneficial owners of more than 10% of our voting securities apply to the Nevada Gaming Commission for a finding of suitability. The Nevada Gaming Commission may also, in its discretion, require any other holders of our debt or equity securities to file applications to be found suitable to own the debt or equity securities. The applicant must pay all costs of investigation incurred by the Nevada Gaming Authorities in conducting any investigation.

We are subject to disciplinary action if, after we receive notice that a person is unsuitable to be a stockholder or to have any other relationship with us, we:

pay that person any dividend or interest upon voting securities;
allow that person to exercise, directly or indirectly, any voting right conferred through securities held by that person;
pay remuneration in any form to that person for services rendered or otherwise; or
fail to pursue all lawful efforts to require such unsuitable person to relinquish his voting securities for cash at fair market value.

Under certain circumstances, an “institutional investor,” as defined in the Nevada Act, which acquires more than 10%, but not more than 25%, of our voting securities may apply to the Nevada Gaming Commission for a waiver of such finding of suitability if the institutional investor holds the voting securities for investment purposes only.

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Any person who fails or refuses to apply for a finding of suitability or a license within 30 days after being ordered to do so by the Nevada Gaming Commission or the Chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board may be found unsuitable.

We are required to maintain a current stock ledger in Nevada, and the Nevada Gaming Authorities may examine the ledger at any time. If any securities are held in trust by an agent or a nominee, the record holder may be required to disclose the identity of the beneficial owner to the Nevada Gaming Authorities. A failure to make such disclosure may be grounds for finding the record holder unsuitable. We are also required to render maximum assistance in determining the identity of the beneficial owner. The Nevada Gaming Commission may require our stock certificates to bear a legend indicating that the securities are subject to the Nevada Act.

We may not make a public offering of our securities without the prior approval of the Nevada Gaming Commission if the securities or proceeds therefrom are intended to be used to construct, acquire or finance gaming facilities in Nevada, or to retire or extend obligations incurred for purposes of constructing, acquiring or financing gaming facilities. Any approval, if granted, does not constitute a finding, recommendation or approval by the Nevada Gaming Authorities as to the accuracy or adequacy of the prospectus or the investment merits of the securities offered.

Changes in our control through merger, consolidation, stock or asset acquisitions, management or consulting agreements, or any act or conduct by a person whereby that person obtains control (including foreclosure on the pledged shares), may not occur without the prior approval of the Nevada Gaming Commission. Entities seeking to acquire control of a Registered Corporation must satisfy the Nevada Gaming Authorities in a variety of stringent standards prior to assuming control of such Registered Corporation. The Nevada Gaming Commission may also require controlling stockholders, officers, directors and other persons having a material relationship or involvement with the entity proposing to acquire control, to be investigated and licensed or found suitable as part of the approval process relating to the transaction.

The Nevada Legislature has declared that some corporate acquisitions opposed by management, repurchases of voting securities and corporate defense tactics affecting Nevada gaming licensees, and Registered Corporations that are affiliated with those operations, may be injurious to stable and productive corporate gaming. The Nevada Gaming Commission has established a regulatory scheme to ameliorate the potentially adverse effects of these business practices upon Nevada’s gaming industry and to further Nevada’s policy to:

assure the financial stability of corporate gaming operators and their affiliates;
preserve the beneficial aspects of conducting business in the corporate form; and
promote a neutral environment for the orderly governance of corporate affairs.

We are, in certain circumstances, required to receive approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission before we can make exceptional repurchases of voting securities above their current market price and before we can consummate a corporate acquisition opposed by management. The Nevada Act also requires prior approval of a plan of recapitalization proposed by the board of directors in response to a tender offer made directly to a Registered Corporation’s stockholders for the purposes of acquiring control of the Registered Corporation.

Licensee fees and taxes, computed in various ways depending on the type of gaming or activity involved, are payable to the State of Nevada and to the counties and cities in which the Nevada licensee’s respective operations are conducted. Depending upon the particular fee or tax involved, these fees and taxes are payable monthly, quarterly or annually and are based upon either:

a percentage of the gross revenues received;
the number of gaming devices operated; or
the number of table games operated.

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A live entertainment tax is also paid on admission charges where entertainment is furnished. Nevada licensees that hold a license as an operator of a slot route, a manufacturer or a distributor also pay certain fees and taxes to the State of Nevada.

Any person who is licensed, required to be licensed, registered, required to be registered, or is under common control with such persons, referred to as “Licensees,” and who is or proposes to become involved in a gaming venture outside of Nevada is required to deposit with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and thereafter maintain, a revolving fund in the amount of $10,000 to pay the expenses of investigation by the Nevada Gaming Control Board of their participation in foreign gaming. The revolving fund is subject to increase or decrease in the discretion of the Nevada Gaming Commission. Thereafter, Licensees are required to comply with certain reporting requirements imposed by the Nevada Act. Licensees are also subject to disciplinary action by the Nevada Gaming Commission if they knowingly violate any laws of the foreign jurisdiction pertaining to the foreign gaming operation, fail to conduct the foreign gaming operation in accordance with the standards of honesty and integrity required of Nevada gaming operations, engage in activities that are harmful to the State of Nevada or its ability to collect gaming taxes and fees, or employ a person in the foreign operation who has been denied a license or finding of suitability in Nevada on the ground of personal unsuitability.

Colorado. As prescribed by the Colorado Limited Gaming Act with Constitutional Amendment of 2021 (the “Colorado Act”), the ownership and operation of limited stakes gaming facilities in Colorado are subject to the Colorado Gaming Rules and Regulations (the “Colorado Regulations”) and final authority of the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (the “Colorado Commission”). The Colorado Act also created the Colorado Division of Gaming within the Colorado Department of Revenue to license, supervise and enforce the conduct of limited stakes gaming in Colorado.

The Colorado Act declares public policy on limited stakes gaming to be that: (1) the success of limited stakes gaming is dependent upon public confidence and trust that licensed limited stakes gaming is conducted honestly and competitively, the rights of the creditors of licensees are protected and gaming is free from criminal and corruptive elements; (2) public confidence and trust can be maintained only by strict regulation of all persons, locations, practices, associations and activities related to the operation of licensed gaming establishments and the manufacture or distribution of gaming devices and equipment; (3) all establishments where limited gaming is conducted and where gambling devices are operated, and all manufacturers, sellers and distributors of certain gambling devices and equipment, must therefore be licensed, controlled and assisted to protect the public health, safety, good order and the general welfare of the inhabitants of the state to foster the stability and success of limited stakes gaming and to preserve the economy, policies and free competition in Colorado; and (4) no applicant for a license or other affirmative Colorado Commission approval has any right to a license or to the granting of the approval sought. With limited exceptions applicable to licensees that are publicly traded entities, no person may sell, lease, purchase, convey or acquire any interest in a retail gaming or operator license or business without the prior approval of the Colorado Commission.

In November 2020, Colorado voters passed Amendment 77 to the State Constitution (“Amendment 77”) allowing voters in Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek to approve a maximum single bet of any amount, compared to the previous $100 per bet limit that was in place and add additional game types beyond slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps. The measure permitted each of the three towns to hold a local election on whether to change betting limits and/or add new games. Concurrently with the November 2020 election, Black Hawk voters passed such a local ballot measure, and the Black Hawk City Council followed shortly thereafter by approving unrestricted single bet limits and new popular table games. Those changes went into effect on May 1, 2021 and Black Hawk casinos are now operating without betting limit restrictions and can add to their table games mix Pai Gow, Baccarat, Keno, and Big 6 Wheel.

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Limited stakes gaming is confined to the commercial districts of these cities as defined by Central City on October 7, 1981, by Black Hawk on May 4, 1978, and by Cripple Creek on December 3, 1973. In addition, the Colorado law restricts limited stakes gaming to structures that conform to the architectural styles and designs that were common to the areas prior to World War I and that conform to the requirements of applicable city ordinances regardless of the age of the structures. Under the 1990 Colorado Amendment, no more than 35% of the square footage of any building and no more than 50% of any one floor of any building may be used for limited stakes gaming. Persons under the age of 21 cannot participate in limited stakes gaming. The Colorado Constitution provides for a tax on the total amount wagered less all payouts to players at graduated annual rates. The gaming tax rates in effect as of July 1, 2008 can only be increased by amendment to the Colorado Constitution by voters in a statewide election. With respect to games of poker, the tax is calculated based on the sums wagered that are retained by the licensee as compensation, which must be consistent with the minimum and maximum amounts established by the Colorado Commission. The graduated rates effective as of July 1, 2012 are:

0.25% up to and including $2 million of the subject amounts;
2.0% on amounts from $2 million to $5 million;
9.0% on amounts from $5 million to $8 million;
11.0% on amounts from $8 million to $10 million;
16.0% on amounts from $10 million to $13 million; and
20.0% on amounts over $13 million.

The City of Black Hawk also assesses monthly device fees that are based on the number of gaming devices operated. These consist of an $87.50 fee per slot device, $350.00 per table device, and transportation fee of $3.68 for each slots device and $14.72 for each table device and sports betting device.

The Colorado Commission has enacted Rule 4.5, which imposes requirements on publicly traded corporations holding gaming licenses in Colorado and on gaming licenses owned directly or indirectly by a publicly traded corporation, whether through a subsidiary or intermediary company. Such requirements automatically apply to any ownership interest held by a publicly traded corporation, holding company or intermediary company thereof, where the ownership interest directly or indirectly is, or will be upon approval of the Colorado Commission, 5% or more of the entire licensee. In any event, if the Colorado Commission determines that a publicly traded corporation or a subsidiary, intermediary company or holding company has the actual ability to exercise influence over a licensee, regardless of the percentage of ownership possessed by such entity, the Colorado Commission may require the entity to comply with the disclosure rules and regulations contained in Rule 4.5.

Under Rule 4.5, gaming licensees, affiliated companies and controlling persons commencing a public offering of voting securities must notify the Colorado Commission no later than 10 business days after the initial filing of a registration statement with the SEC. Licensed publicly traded corporations are also required to send proxy statements to the Division of Gaming within five days after their distribution. Licensees to whom Rule 4.5 applies must include in their charter documents provisions that restrict the rights of the licensees to issue voting interests or securities except in accordance with the Colorado Act and the Colorado Regulations; limit the rights of persons to transfer voting interests or securities of licensees except in accordance with the Colorado Act and the Colorado Regulations; and provide that holders of voting interests or securities of licensees found unsuitable by the Colorado Commission may, within 60 days of such finding of unsuitability, be required to sell their interests or securities back to the issuer at the lesser of the cash equivalent of the holders’ investment or the market price as of the date of the finding of unsuitability. Alternatively, the holders may, within 60 days after the finding of unsuitability, transfer the voting interests or securities to a suitable person, as determined by the Colorado Commission. Until the voting interests or securities are held by suitable persons, the issuer may not pay dividends or interest, the securities may not be voted and may not be included in the voting or securities of the issuer, and the issuer may not pay any remuneration in any form to the holders of the securities.

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Pursuant to Rule 4.5, persons who acquire direct or indirect beneficial ownership of (a) 5% or more of any class of voting securities of a publicly traded corporation that is required to include in its articles of incorporation the Rule 4.5 charter language provisions; or (b) 5% or more of the beneficial interest in a gaming licensee directly or indirectly through any class of voting securities of any holding company or intermediary company of a licensee, referred to as “qualifying persons,” shall notify the Division of Gaming within 10 days of such acquisition and submit all requested information. Such persons are subject to a finding of suitability as required by the Division of Gaming or the Colorado Commission. Licensees also must notify any qualifying persons of these requirements. A qualifying person other than an institutional investor whose interest equals 10% or more must apply to the Colorado Commission for a finding of suitability within 45 days after acquiring such securities. Licensees must also notify any qualifying persons of these requirements. Whether or not notified, qualifying persons are responsible for complying with these requirements.

A qualifying person who is an institutional investor under Rule 4.5 and who, individually or in association with others, acquires, directly or indirectly, the beneficial ownership of 20% or more of any class of voting securities must apply to the Colorado Commission for a finding of suitability within 45 days after acquiring such interests.

The Colorado Regulations provide for exemption from the requirements for a finding of suitability when the Colorado Commission finds such action to be consistent with the purposes of the Colorado Act.

The Colorado Regulations require that every officer, director and stockholder of private corporations or equivalent office or ownership holders for non-corporate applicants, and every officer, director or stockholder holding either a 5% or greater interest or controlling interest of a publicly traded corporation or owners of an applicant or licensee, shall be a person of good moral character and submit to a full background investigation conducted by the Division of Gaming and the Colorado Commission. The Colorado Commission may require any person having an interest in a license to undergo a full background investigation and pay the cost of investigation in the same manner as an applicant.

The sale of alcoholic beverages in gaming establishments is subject to strict licensing, control and regulation by state and local authorities. Alcoholic beverage licenses are revocable and nontransferable. State and local licensing authorities have full power to limit, condition, suspend for as long as six months or revoke any such licenses.

There are various classes of retail liquor licenses which may be issued under the Colorado Liquor Code. A gaming licensee may sell malt, vinous or spirituous liquors only by the individual drink for consumption on the premises. An application for an alcoholic beverage license in Colorado requires notice, posting and a public hearing before the local liquor licensing authority prior to approval. The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Liquor Enforcement Division must also approve the application. Monarch Black Hawk has been approved for a restaurant liquor license by both the local Black Hawk licensing authority and the State Division of Liquor Enforcement.

In November 2019, Proposition DD was passed with a vote of the people allowing for legalizing sports betting in Colorado, making Colorado one of many states now letting people place bets on sporting events since the Supreme Court ruling struck down a law that banned sports betting in most U.S. states. With the passage of Proposition DD, and the legislative bill passed by the Colorado General Assembly in May 2019 (the “Colorado Sports Act”), the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission and the Colorado Division of Gaming are the statutory authority over the regulation of the legalized sports betting in Colorado. The Colorado Sports Act establishes three categories of sports wagering licenses: (1) Master License (awarded to casinos to offer both retail and online sports betting), (2) Sports Betting Operator (awarded to the operator running an on-premise sports book at the casino), and (3) Internet Sports Betting Operator. The Colorado Commission approved Sports Betting Rule 3, effective March 16, 2020, to enable applications, investigations, and licensure as related to sports betting. Rule 3 authorizes the additional license classifications Vendor Major License and Vendor Minor License. On February 20, 2020, Monarch Black Hawk was issued a Master License.

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On February 20, 2020, the Colorado Commission voted unanimously to approve the new Sports Betting Rules and Regulations. Authorized sports betting includes (1) any individual or team sport or athletic event in which the outcome is not determined solely by chance, whether amateur or professional, including an Olympic or international sport or athletic event and any collegiate sports event (2) any portion of an authorized sport or athletic event, including the individual performance statistics of athletes in a sports event or combination of sports events, and (3) an authorized sanctioned motor sport. Sports’ betting is prohibited on a high school sports event, a video game that is not sanctioned by a sports’ governing body or equivalent as an electronic competition or proposition bets on collegiate sports. Sports’ betting went live in Colorado on May 1, 2020. Sports betting is allowed in Colorado casinos as well as approved mobile apps provided the bettor is within the State of Colorado while the bet is made.

Compliance with Environmental Laws

In 2023, the Company did not incur any material capital expenses for maintaining compliance with applicable environmental laws and does not expect to incur such in 2024.

Requirements to comply with environmental laws may have an impact on capital expenditures, earnings, and our competitive position in the future. See Item 1A, “RISK FACTORS.”

Human Capital

As of December 31, 2023, we employed approximately 2,900 employees across both properties.

We believe that our team is the most important asset in our organization. Our management focus is on employee retention and we use retention rate to evaluate it. We also perform “exit interviews” for employees exiting the company, to understand better what matters most to our team members and improve our polices.

We offer to our team members an extensive series of Leadership Development Workshops to support our team members’ professional and career development.

The Company regularly conducts diversity and inclusion training for its team members as part of new-hire onboarding and ongoing team member/leadership education sessions. 

We continuously work on enhancing employee benefits and provide to our employees benefit packages which are competitive to the market and industry. The Company also offers team members up to $6,000 in annual tuition reimbursement for educational courses and/or certifications related to their performance.

Available Information

Our principal executive offices are located at 3800 S. Virginia Street, Reno, Nevada 89502; telephone (775) 335-4600. Our website address is www.monarchcasino.com. We make available, free of charge, on or through our website, our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”). The information found on, or otherwise accessible through our website is not incorporated by reference into, nor does it form a part of, this Form 10-K, or any other document that we file with the SEC.

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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

Our business prospects are subject to various risks and uncertainties that impact our business. You should carefully consider the following discussion of risks, and the other information provided in this annual report on Form 10-K. The risks described below are not the only ones facing us; however, they do represent all material risks currently known to us. Additional risks that are presently unknown to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also impact our business.

RISKS RELATED TO OUR BUSINESS

INTENSE COMPETITION EXISTS IN THE GAMING INDUSTRY, AND WE EXPECT COMPETITION TO CONTINUE TO INTENSIFY

The gaming industry is highly competitive for both customers, employees and management. We compete with numerous casinos and hotel-casinos, with other non-gaming resorts and vacation destinations, with various other entertainment businesses, and with any new forms of gaming, including internet gaming, that has been or may be legalized. The casino entertainment business is characterized by competitors that vary considerably in their size, quality of facilities, number of operations, brand identities, marketing and growth strategies, financial strength and capabilities, level of amenities, management talent and geographic diversity. We compete directly with other casino facilities operating in the immediate and surrounding market areas in which we operate. In some markets, we also face competition from nearby markets. In a broader sense, our gaming operations face competition from all manner of leisure and entertainment activities, including shopping, athletic events, television, movies, concerts, and travel.

As competitive pressures increase, other casinos may intensify their marketing efforts. Increased competitive pressures in our local markets could adversely impact our ability to continue to attract local residents to the Atlantis and the Monarch Black Hawk or require us to use more expensive, and therefore, less profitable, promotions to compete.

With fewer new markets opening for development, competition in existing markets has intensified. We have invested in expanding the Atlantis and renovating and expanding the Monarch Black Hawk. Our competitors have also expanded their facilities and developed new facilities. These expansions, the increases in the number of properties and aggressive marketing strategies of our competitors have increased competition in our markets, and this intense competition can be expected to continue. In addition, competition may intensify if our competitors implement aggressive pricing and promotional activities in order to attract customers.

If our competitors operate more successfully than we do, if they attract customers away from us, if they are more successful than us in attracting and retaining employees, if their properties are enhanced or expanded, if they operate in jurisdictions that give them operating advantages from differences or changes in gaming rules, regulations or taxes, or if additional hotels and casinos are established in and around our markets, we may lose market share or the ability to attract or retain employees. In particular, the expansion of casino gaming in or near any geographic area from which we attract or expect to attract a significant number of our customers could have a significant adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We also believe that the legalization of additional casino gaming in or near any major metropolitan area in the Atlantis’ or Monarch Black Hawk’s key marketing areas could have a material adverse impact on our business. In addition, there have been proposals for the development of Native American, racetrack and video lottery terminal casinos throughout the state of Colorado over the years, although none of the proposals has been adopted by the state’s electorate or legislature. The owners of the Arapahoe Racetrack, southeast of Denver, have funded state wide ballot initiatives to allow casino style gaming at the race track. Both measures were voted down by wide margins. As of December 31, 2023, none of the proposals have been adopted by the state’s electorate or by the legislature. Should any form of additional gaming be authorized in the Denver metropolitan area, Monarch Black Hawk could be adversely affected.

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In addition, Native American gaming facilities in some instances operate under less stringent regulatory requirements than those imposed on our properties, which could provide them a competitive advantage in our markets. Moreover, we face competition from internet and other account wagering gaming services, which would allow their guests to wager on a wide variety of sporting events and play Las Vegas-style casino games from home, and this could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results and prospects. The legalization of internet poker and other forms of internet gaming could create further competition for our operations.

OUR SUCCESS DEPENDS ON OUR ABILITY TO MAINTAIN THE REPUTATION OF OUR RESORTS.

The success of our business relies on the positive public perceptions of our resorts, the quality of the amenities and the level of service we provide. Any deterioration in our reputation could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows. Our reputation could be negatively impacted by our failure to deliver a high-quality resort and entertainment experience to our customers. Our reputation may also suffer as a result of negative publicity regarding the Company or our resorts, regardless of the accuracy of such publicity.

OUR BUSINESS IS PARTICULARLY SENSITIVE TO WEAK DISCRETIONARY CONSUMER SPENDING

Consumer demand for entertainment and other amenities at hotel-casino properties and casino properties, such as ours, are particularly sensitive to downturns in the economy and the corresponding impact on discretionary consumer spending on leisure activities and corporate spending on conventions and trade shows. We market to and rely upon the patronage of customers from the Reno and Denver metropolitan areas, as well as leisure traveler and conventioneer guests. Changes in discretionary consumer spending or consumer preferences in these, and other geographic markets, brought about by factors such as perceived or actual general economic conditions, the impact of high energy and food costs, the increased cost of travel, the potential for bank failures, decreased disposable consumer income and wealth, or fears of war and future acts of terrorism could further reduce customer demand for the amenities that we offer, thus imposing practical limits on pricing and negatively impacting our results of operations and financial condition.

RISING OPERATING COSTS AT OUR GAMING PROPERTIES COULD HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON OUR BUSINESS

The operating expenses associated with our properties could increase due to, among other reasons, the following factors:

current broad-based inflation on the economy;
supply chain issues;
changes in federal, state or local tax or regulations, including state gaming rules and regulations or gaming taxes, could impose additional restrictions or increase our operating costs;
aggressive marketing and promotional campaigns by our competitors for an extended period of time could force us to increase our expenditures for marketing and promotional campaigns in order to maintain our existing customer base or attract new customers;
increases in costs of labor;
expenditures for repairs, maintenance, and to replace equipment necessary to operate our business;
our reliance on slot play revenues and any additional costs imposed on us from vendors;
availability and cost of the products and services we provide our customers, including food, beverages, retail items, entertainment, hotel rooms and spa;
availability and costs associated with insurance;
price increases for electricity, natural gas and other forms of energy;
adverse impacts of outbreaks of infectious diseases on our business, construction projects, financial condition and operating results;
actions by government officials at the federal, state and/or local level with respect to steps to be taken, including, without limitation, temporary or extended shutdowns, travel restrictions, social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, in connection with any infectious disease outbreak;

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our ability to manage guest safety concerns caused by any infectious disease outbreak;
our ability to effectively manage and control expenses during temporary or extended shutdown periods;
impact of temporary or extended shutdowns on our ability to maintain compliance with the terms and conditions of our credit facilities and other material contracts;
construction factors, including delays, disruptions, availability of labor and materials, increased costs of labor and materials, contractor disagreements, zoning issues, environmental restrictions, soil and water conditions, weather and other hazards, site access matters, building permit issues and other regulatory approvals or issues;
ongoing disagreements over costs of and responsibility for delays and other construction related matters with our Monarch Black Hawk general contractor, PCL Construction Services, Inc., including, as previously reported, the litigation against us and liens by such contractor;
affirmative and extensive counterclaims for construction defects, breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud, fraudulent inducement, negligence and other construction related claims that we have filed against the Monarch Black Hawk contractor, PCL Construction Services, Inc., in the above-mentioned litigation in which litigation the parties are currently awaiting the Court’s decision following the trial of the matter in September, October, and November of 2023;
our potential need to post bonds or other forms of surety to support our legal remedies;
risks related to development and construction activities (including disputes with and defaults by contractors and subcontractors; construction, equipment or staffing problems and delays; shortages of materials or skilled labor; environmental, health and safety issues; weather and other hazards, site access matters, and unanticipated cost increases);
our ability to generate sufficient operating cash flow to help finance our expansion plans and subsequent debt reduction;
changes in laws mandating increases in minimum wages and employee benefits;
changes in laws and regulations permitting expanded and other forms of gaming in our key markets;
the effects of local and national economic, credit and capital market conditions on the economy in general and on the gaming industry and our business in particular;
the effects of labor shortages on our market position, growth and financial results;
the potential of increases in state and federal taxation to address budgetary and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic or other infectious disease outbreaks;
the potential of increased regulatory and other burdens to address the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 pandemic or other infectious disease outbreaks; and
guest acceptance of our expanded facilities once completed and the resulting impact on our market position, growth and financial results.

If our operating expenses increase without any offsetting increase in our revenues, our results of operations would suffer.

WIN RATES FOR OUR GAMING OPERATIONS DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS, MANY OF WHICH ARE BEYOND OUR CONTROL, AND MAY RESULT IN THE WINNINGS OF OUR GAMING CUSTOMERS EXCEEDING OUR WINNINGS.

The gaming industry is characterized by an element of chance, and win rates are affected by a player’s skill and experience, the mix of games played, the financial resources of players, the spread of table limits, the volume of bets played and the amount of time played, among other factors. Our gaming profits for each property are primarily derived from the difference between our casino winnings and the casino winnings of our gaming customers. Since we operate in an industry which is inherently driven by the element of chance and the winnings of our gaming customers may exceed our winnings, we do not have full control over our gaming revenues. This may result in our having to record a loss from our gaming operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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OUR RESULTS OF OPERATIONS MAY BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY HIGH-END PLAYERS’ WINNINGS OR THEIR FAILURE TO REPAY FUNDS EXTENDED ON CREDIT

Although not the major focus of our marketing efforts, we have selectively targeted high-end players. Should one or more of these high-end players win large sums in our casino, or should a material amount of credit extended to such players not be repaid, our results of operations could be adversely impacted.

WE FACE THE RISK OF FRAUD AND CHEATING

Our gaming customers may attempt or commit fraud or cheat in order to increase winnings. Acts of fraud or cheating could involve the use of counterfeit chips or other tactics, possibly in collusion with our employees. Internal acts of cheating could also be conducted by employees through collusion with dealers, surveillance staff, floor managers or other casino or gaming area staff. Failure to discover such acts or schemes in a timely manner could result in losses in our gaming operations. In addition, negative publicity related to such schemes could have an adverse effect on our reputation, potentially causing a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

THE CONCENTRATION AND EVOLUTION OF THE SLOT MACHINE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY COULD IMPOSE ADDITIONAL COSTS ON OUR OPERATIONS

A majority of our gaming revenue is attributable to slot machines operated at our gaming facilities. It is important, for competitive reasons, that we offer popular and technologically advanced slot machine games to our customers.

In recent years, slot machine manufacturers have frequently refused to sell slot machines featuring the most popular games, instead requiring participation lease arrangements. Participation slot machine leasing arrangements typically often require the payment of a fixed daily rental or a percentage payment of coin-in or net win. Generally, a participation lease is substantially more expensive over the long term than the cost to purchase a new machine.

For competitive reasons, we may be forced to purchase new slot machines or enter into participation lease arrangements that are more expensive than our current costs associated with the continued operation of our existing slot machines. If the newer slot machines do not result in sufficient incremental revenues to offset the increased investment and participation lease costs, it could hurt our profitability.

We are entirely dependent on TWO resorts for all of our cash flow, which subjects us to greater risks than a gaming company with more operating properties

We are currently entirely dependent upon our Atlantis Casino Resort and our Monarch Black Hawk for all of our operating cash flow. As a result, we are subject to a greater degree of risk than a gaming company with more operating properties or greater geographic diversification. The risks to which we have a greater degree of exposure include the following:

changes in local economic and competitive conditions;
labor supply disruptions or shortages;
inflationary pressures on labor and supplies;
disruptions in our supply chain;
changes in local and state governmental laws and regulations, including gaming laws, rules and regulations, and the way in which those laws, rules and regulations are applied;
natural and other disasters, including pandemics, epidemics, or outbreaks of infectious or contagious diseases such as the COVID-19 pandemic;
continuing actions by government officials at the federal, state and/or local level with respect to steps to be taken in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, including, without limitation, temporary or extended shutdowns, travel restrictions, social distancing and shelter-in-place orders;
an increase in the cost of maintaining our properties;
a decline in the number of visitors to Reno or Black Hawk; and

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a decrease in gaming and non-casino activities at our resorts.

Any of the factors outlined above could negatively affect our results of operations and our ability to generate sufficient cash flow to make payments or maintain our covenants with respect to our debt.

FAILURE OF THE RENO-SPARKS CONVENTION CENTER TO BOOK AND ATTRACT CONVENTION BUSINESS COULD ADVERSELY IMPACT OUR BUSINESS AT THE ATLANTIS

The Atlantis is the closest hotel-casino to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center and the enclosed pedestrian sky bridge, that connects the Atlantis directly with the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, has afforded us a distinct competitive advantage in attracting its conventioneers, who typically pay higher average room rates than non-conventioneers. However, if the Reno-Sparks Convention Center does not succeed in booking the anticipated level of conventions, we will not, in turn, benefit from the patronage of such conventioneers. As a result, our results of operations could be adversely impacted.

IF WE LOSE OUR KEY PERSONNEL, OUR BUSINESS COULD BE MATERIALLY ADVERSELY AFFECTED

We depend on the continued performances of John Farahi and Bob Farahi, our Chief Executive Officer and our President, respectively, and their management team. If we lose the services of the Farahi brothers, or other senior Atlantis or Monarch Black Hawk management personnel, and cannot replace such persons in a timely manner with competent and experienced personnel, our business could be materially adversely affected.

OUR BUSINESS MAY BE ADVERSELY IMPACTED IF WE ARE UNABLE TO ADEQUATELY STAFF OUR OPERATIONS

From time to time, the competition for employees increases. During such times, new and growing business in the area may create job opportunities that at times have exceeded the area’s supply of qualified employees. If we are unable to attract and retain qualified employees, or if competition for employees results in materially increased wages, our ability to maintain and grow our business could be adversely impacted.

FAILURE TO MAINTAIN THE INTEGRITY OF OUR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS, PROTECT OUR INTERNAL AND CUSTOMER INFORMATION FROM CYBERSECURITY OR OTHER RISKS, OR COMPLY WITH APPLICABLE PRIVACY AND DATA SECURITY REGULATIONS COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT US

We rely extensively on our computer systems to process customer transactions, manage customer data, manage employee data and communicate with third-party vendors and other third parties, and we access the internet to use our computer systems. Our operations require that we collect and store customer data, including credit card numbers and other personal information, for various business purposes, including marketing and promotional purposes. We also collect and store personal information about our employees. Threats to information technology systems associated with cybersecurity risks and cyber incidents or attacks continue to grow. Breaches of our security measures or information technology systems or the accidental loss, inadvertent disclosure or unapproved dissemination of proprietary information or sensitive personal information or confidential data about us, or our customers, or our employees including the potential loss or disclosure of such information as a result of hacking or other cyber-attack, computer virus, fraudulent use by customers, employees or employees of third party vendors, trickery or other forms of deception or unauthorized use, or due to system failure, could expose us, our customers, our employees or other individuals affected to a risk of loss or misuse of this information, result in litigation and potential liability for us, damage our casino or brand names and reputations or otherwise harm our business. We rely on proprietary and commercially available systems, software, tools and monitoring to provide security for processing, transmission and storage of customer information, such as payment card, employee information and other confidential or proprietary information. Our data security measures are reviewed and evaluated regularly, however they might not protect us against increasingly sophisticated and aggressive threats. The cost and operational consequences of implementing further data security measures could be significant.

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Additionally, the collection of customer and employee personal information imposes various privacy compliance related obligations on our business and increases the risks associated with a breach or failure of the integrity of our information technology systems. The collection and use of personal information is governed by privacy laws and regulations enacted in the United States and other jurisdictions around the world. Privacy regulations continue to evolve and on occasion may be inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another. Compliance with applicable privacy laws and regulations may increase our operating costs and/or adversely impact our ability to market our products, properties and services to our customers. In addition, non-compliance with applicable privacy laws and regulations by us (or in some circumstances non-compliance by third party service providers engaged by us) may also result in damage of reputation, result in vulnerabilities that could be exploited to breach our systems and/or subject us to fines, payment of damages, lawsuits or restrictions on our use or transfer of personal information.

OUR GAMING OPERATIONS RELY HEAVILY ON TECHNOLOGY SERVICES AND AN UNINTERRUPTED SUPPLY OF ELECTRICAL POWER

Any unscheduled disruption in our technology services or interruption in the supply of electrical power could result in an immediate, and possibly substantial, loss of revenues due to a shutdown of our gaming operations. Such interruptions may occur as a result of, for example, a failure of our information technology or related systems, catastrophic events or rolling blackouts. Our systems are also vulnerable to damage or interruption from earthquakes, floods, fires, telecommunication failures, terrorist attacks, computer viruses, computer denial-of-service attacks and similar events.

WE OWN FACILITIES THAT ARE LOCATED IN AREAS THAT EXPERIENCE EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS

Extreme weather or weather-related conditions, including snowstorms and forest or range fires may interrupt our operations, damage our properties and reduce the number of customers who visit our facilities in the affected areas. If there is a prolonged disruption at either our Atlantis or Monarch Black Hawk properties due to extreme weather or weather-related conditions, our results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected. For example, extreme snow in and around the Black Hawk area often leads to closure of US 6 and I-70, the roads between Denver and Black Hawk. An excessive number of snow days in a fiscal period has, in the past, and would, in the future, have a negative effect on our guest visitations and adversely affect our revenue, results of operation and financial results for the reporting period.

While we maintain insurance coverage that may cover certain of the costs and loss of revenue that we incur as a result of some extreme weather or weather-related conditions, our coverage is subject to deductibles and limits on maximum benefits. We cannot assure you that we will be able to fully collect, if at all, on any claims resulting from extreme weather or weather-related conditions. If any of our properties are damaged or if their operations are disrupted as a result of extreme weather or weather-related conditions in the future, or if extreme weather or weather-related conditions adversely impacts general economic or other conditions in the areas in which our properties are located or from which they draw their patrons, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

TO SERVICE OUR INDEBTEDNESS, WE WILL REQUIRE A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF CASH. OUR ABILITY TO GENERATE CASH DEPENDS ON MANY FACTORS BEYOND OUR CONTROL

Our ability to make payments on and to refinance our indebtedness and to fund future capital expenditures and expansion efforts will depend upon our ability to generate cash. This, to a certain extent, is subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory and other factors that are beyond our control. On February 1, 2023, the Company entered into the Fifth Amended and Restated Credit Agreement (the “Amended Credit Facility”) with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as administrative agent, where it amended and restated in its entirety the Fifth Amended Credit Facility. Our failure to generate sufficient cash flows from operations or to obtain future borrowings may impact our ability to repay our indebtedness as it matures and to fund our other liquidity needs. In such cases, we may have to adopt alternatives, such as reducing or delaying planned expenses and capital expenditures, selling assets or obtaining additional equity or debt financing or joint venture partners. These financing strategies may not be affected on satisfactory terms, if at all.

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COVENANT RESTRICTIONS UNDER OUR FIFTH AMENDED CREDIT FACILITY MAY LIMIT OUR ABILITY TO OPERATE OUR BUSINESS AND ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Our Fifth Amended Credit Facility contains covenants that restrict our ability to, among other things, incur additional debt, make distributions, make investments, grant liens on our assets to secure debt, enter into transactions with affiliates and effect mergers or acquisitions, as well as covenants that relate to our Monarch Black Hawk Expansion. Although the covenants in our Fifth Amended Credit Facility are subject to various exceptions, we cannot assure you that these covenants will not adversely affect our ability to finance future operations or capital needs or to engage in other activities that may be in our best interest. In addition, our long-term debt requires us to maintain specified financial ratios and satisfy certain financial condition tests, which may require that we take action to reduce our debt or to act in a manner contrary to our business objectives. A breach of any of the covenants in the agreement governing our Fifth Amended Credit Facility could result in a default under such agreement. Our ability to comply with these covenants may be affected by general economic conditions, industry conditions, and other events beyond our control, including difficulties or delay in the completion of our Monarch Black Hawk Expansion. As a result, we cannot assure you that we will be able to comply with these covenants. If an event of default under the agreement governing our Amended Credit Facility occurs, the lenders thereunder could elect to declare all amounts outstanding thereunder, together with accrued interest, to be immediately due and payable. In addition, our Fifth Amended Credit Facility is secured by a first priority security interest in substantially all of our assets. If we are unable to pay all amounts declared due and payable in the event of a default, the lenders could foreclose on these assets.

OUR VARIABLE RATE INDEBTEDNESS SUBJECTS US TO INTEREST RATE RISK, WHICH COULD CAUSE OUR DEBT SERVICE OBLIGATIONS TO INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY

An increase in market interest rates would increase our interest expense arising on our indebtedness. The interest rate under our Fifth Amended Credit Facility is SOFR (the Secured Overnight Financing Rate) plus a margin ranging from 1.00% to 1.50% or a base rate plus a margin ranging from 0.0% to 0.5. The applicable margins will vary depending on the Company’s leverage ratio. In addition, SOFR-based loans will incur a 0.10% credit adjustment spread due to the conversion from LIBOR to SOFR as the new benchmark rate. As a result, we are exposed to interest rate risk. If interest rates increase, our debt service obligations under the Fifth Amended Credit Facility will increase even when the amount borrowed remains the same, and our net income and cash flows, including cash available for servicing our indebtedness, would correspondingly decrease.

IF WE ARE UNABLE TO OBTAIN FINANCING FOR OUR EXPANSION AND RENOVATION PROJECTS AND OTHER CAPITAL EXPENDITURES, SUCH PROJECTS WILL BE JEOPARDIZED

We intend to finance our future expansion and renovation projects, as well as our other capital expenditures, primarily with cash flow from operations and borrowings under our available credit facilities. If we are unable to finance our future expansion and renovation projects, or our other capital expenditures, we will have to adopt one or more alternatives, such as reducing, delaying or abandoning planned expansion and renovation projects as well as other capital expenditures, selling assets, restructuring debt, considering obtaining equity financing or joint venture partners, or modifying our credit facilities. These sources of funds may not be sufficient to finance our expansion, development, investment and renovation projects, and other financing may not be available on acceptable terms, in a timely manner, or at all. In addition, our existing indebtedness contains certain restrictions on our ability to incur additional indebtedness.

OUR EXPANSION AND RENOVATION PROJECTS MAY FACE SIGNIFICANT RISKS INHERENT IN CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

Our development and renovation projects we may undertake will be subject to the many risks inherent in the expansion or renovation of an existing enterprise or construction of a new enterprise, including unanticipated design, construction, regulatory, environmental and operating problems and lack of demand for our projects.

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We have numerous disagreements with our Monarch Black Hawk general contractor, including disagreements over costs, schedule delays, and other construction related matters. Such disagreements have resulted in litigation with our Monarch Black Hawk general contractor, as discussed in this annual report.

The disputes with the Monarch Black Hawk Expansion general contractor have resulted in and may continue to result in:

disputes and claims over the quality and management of the construction;
disputes and claims over design and construction defects;
disputes and claims over payments, construction costs, staffing costs, damages and other financial responsibility; and
disruptions of relationships with the general contractor, subcontractors, vendors and others.

In addition, our current and future projects could also experience:

delays and significant cost increases;
delays in obtaining or inability to obtain necessary permits, licenses and approvals;
lack of sufficient, or delays in the availability of, financing;
shortages of materials;
shortages of skilled labor, work stoppages or labor disputes;
poor performance or nonperformance by any third parties on whom we place reliance;
unforeseen construction scheduling, engineering, environmental, permitting, construction or geological problems, including defective plans and specifications;
weather interference, floods, fires or other casualty losses; and
COVID-19 related delays.

The completion dates of any of our projects could differ significantly from expectations for construction-related or other reasons.

In connection with the expansion of the Monarch Black Hawk and the related disputes described above, our general contractor PCL and certain subcontractors have provided Monarch with notice of purported liens against the Monarch Black Hawk and some subcontractors have recorded such liens. An action to enforce such liens against the Monarch Black Hawk was filed in the District Court for Gilpin County, CO, as discussed in more detail herein, which may impact our operations on the property and result in us incurring significant expenses relating to defending against such actions.

Actual costs and construction periods for any of our projects can differ significantly from initial expectations. Our initial project costs and construction periods are based upon budgets, conceptual design documents and construction schedule estimates prepared at inception of the project in consultation with architects and contractors. Many of these costs can increase over time as the project is built to completion.

We may have a limited amount of capital resources to fund cost overruns. If we cannot pay cost overruns through cash sources or financing on a timely basis, the completion of one or more projects may be delayed until adequate funding is available. We can provide no assurance that any project will be completed on time, if at all, or within established budgets, or that any project will result in increased earnings to us. Significant delays, cost overruns, or failures of our projects to achieve market acceptance could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

OUR EXPANSION AND RENOVATION ACTIVITIES MAY DISRUPT OUR OPERATIONS

Although we plan our expansion and renovation projects to minimize disruption of our existing business operations, these projects require, from time to time, all or portions of affected existing operations to be closed or disrupted. Any significant disruption in operations of a property could have a significant adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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OUR BUSINESS IS SUBJECT TO RESTRICTIONS AND LIMITATIONS IMPOSED BY GAMING AND OTHER REGULATORY AUTHORITIES THAT COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT US

The ownership and operation of casino gaming facilities are subject to extensive state and local regulation. The State of Nevada, the State of Colorado and the applicable local authorities require various licenses, registrations, permits and approvals to be held by us and our subsidiaries. The Nevada Gaming Commission and the Colorado Commission may, among other things, limit, condition, suspend, revoke or decline to renew a license or approval to own the stock of our subsidiaries for any cause deemed reasonable by such licensing authority. If we violate gaming laws or regulations, substantial fines could be levied against us, our subsidiaries and the persons involved, and we could be forced to forfeit a portion of our assets. The suspension, revocation or non-renewal of any of our licenses or the levy on us of substantial fines or forfeiture of assets would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

To date, we have obtained all governmental licenses, findings of suitability, registrations, permits and approvals necessary for the operation of our current gaming activities. However, gaming licenses and related approvals are deemed to be privileges under Nevada and Colorado law. We cannot assure you that our existing licenses, permits and approvals will be maintained or extended.

In addition to gaming laws, rules and regulations, we are also subject to various federal, state, and local laws and regulations affecting businesses in general. These laws and regulations include, but are not limited to, environmental matters, employment, currency transactions, taxation, construction, zoning, construction and land-use laws, marketing and advertising, smoking, and regulations governing the serving of alcoholic beverages.

The Bank Secrecy Act, enforced by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) of the U.S. Treasury Department, requires us to report currency transactions in excess of $10,000 occurring within a gaming day, including identification of the guest by name and social security number, to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). This regulation also requires us to report certain suspicious activity, including any transaction that exceeds $5,000 that we know, suspect or have reason to believe involves funds from illegal activity or is designed to evade federal regulations or reporting requirements. Periodic audits by the IRS and our internal audit function assess compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act, and substantial penalties can be imposed against us if we fail to comply with this regulation. In recent years, the U.S. Treasury Department has increased its focus on Bank Secrecy Act compliance throughout the gaming industry. Recent public comments by FinCEN suggest that casinos should make efforts to obtain information on each customer’s sources of income. This could adversely impact our ability to attract and retain casino guests.

IF GAMING TAXES AND FEES INCREASE, OUR RESULTS OF OPERATIONS COULD BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED

The federal government has, from time to time, considered a federal tax on casino revenues and may consider such a tax in the future. State and local authorities raise a significant amount of revenue through taxes and fees on gaming activities. From time to time, legislators and officials have proposed changes in tax laws, or in the administration of such laws, affecting the gaming industry. In addition, an economic downturn could intensify the efforts of state and local governments to raise revenues through increases in gaming taxes or other fees. If the state and/or local governments where our properties are located were to increase gaming taxes and fees, our results of operations could be adversely affected.

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Climate change, climate change regulations and greenhouse gas effects may adversely impact our operations.

There is a growing consensus that greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions continue to alter the composition of the global atmosphere in ways that are affecting and are expected to continue affecting the global climate. We may become subject to legislation and regulation regarding climate change, and compliance with any new rules could be difficult, burdensome and costly. Concerned parties, such as legislators and regulators, stockholders and nongovernmental organizations, as well as companies in many business sectors, are considering ways to reduce GHG emissions. Many states have announced or adopted programs to stabilize and reduce GHG emissions and in the past federal legislation has been proposed in Congress. If such legislation is enacted, we could incur increased energy, environmental and other costs and capital expenditures to comply with the limitations. Unless and until legislation is enacted and its terms are known, we cannot reasonably or reliably estimate its impact on our financial condition, results of operations, or ability to compete. Further, regulation of GHG emissions may limit our guests’ ability to travel to our properties as a result of increased fuel costs or restrictions on transport related emissions. Climate change could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flow. We have described the risks to us associated with extreme weather events in the risk factors below.

OUR BUSINESS MAY BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY LEGISLATION PROHIBITING TOBACCO SMOKING.

Legislation in various forms to ban indoor tobacco smoking has been enacted or introduced in jurisdictions in which we operate. Colorado imposes such restrictions; our Nevada gaming areas are not currently subject to tobacco restrictions. If additional restrictions on smoking are enacted in jurisdictions in which we operate, we could experience a decrease in gaming and non-gaming revenue. This is particularly the case if such restrictions are not applicable to all competitive facilities in that gaming market.

WE ARE SUBJECT TO ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO ENVIRONMENTAL LIABILITIES

We are subject to various federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations that govern our operations, including emissions and discharges into the environment, and the handling and disposal of hazardous and nonhazardous substances and wastes. Failure to comply with such laws and regulations could result in costs for corrective action, penalties or the imposition of other liabilities or restrictions. As we acquire properties, we may not know the full level of exposure that we may have undertaken despite appropriate due diligence.

We also are subject to laws and regulations that impose liability and clean-up responsibility for releases of hazardous substances into the environment. Under certain of these laws and regulations, a current or previous owner or operator of property may be liable for the costs of remediating contaminated soil or groundwater on or from its property, without regard to whether the owner or operator knew of, or caused, the contamination, as well as incur liability to third parties impacted by such contamination. The presence of contamination, or failure to remediate it properly, may adversely affect our ability to use, sell or rent property. The Monarch Black Hawk is located within an area of historic mining activity and near superfund sites that have been the subject of state and federal clean-up actions. Although the Monarch Black Hawk is not part of a superfund site, the fact that such sites are in the vicinity and that mining activities occurred throughout the area, it is possible that as a result of our ownership and operation of Monarch Black Hawk (on which mining may have occurred in the past), we may incur costs related to this matter in the future. Furthermore, there may have been soil or groundwater contamination at certain of our properties resulting from current or former operations. We cannot assure that these matters or other matters arising under environmental laws will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations in the future.

CHANGES IN REGULATIONS ON LAND USE REQUIREMENTS COULD ADVERSELY IMPACT OUR BUSINESS

Changes in regulations on land use requirements with regard to development of new hotel casinos in the proximity of the Atlantis and the Monarch Black Hawk could have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations, and financial condition. A relaxation in such regulations could make it easier for competitors to enter our markets. A tightening of such regulations could adversely impact our future expansion opportunities.

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RISKS RELATING TO OWNERSHIP OF COMMON STOCK

OUR COMMON STOCK PRICE MAY FLUCTUATE SUBSTANTIALLY, AND A STOCKHOLDER’S INVESTMENT COULD DECLINE IN VALUE

The market price of our common stock may fluctuate substantially due to many factors, such as those described in the Risk Factors described herein and others, including:

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our results of operations;
announcements of significant acquisitions or other agreements by us or by our competitors;
our sale of common stock or other securities in the future;
trading volume of our common stock;
conditions and trends in the gaming and destination entertainment industries;
changes in the estimation of the future size and growth of our markets;
general economic conditions, including, without limitation, changes in the cost of fuel and air travel; and
fears of impact on leisure and general travel due to pandemic concerns, include the coronavirus.

In addition, the stock market in general has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to companies’ operating performance. Broad market and industry factors may materially harm the market price of our common stock, regardless of our operating performance. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, stockholder derivative lawsuits and/or securities class action litigation has often been instituted against that company. Such litigation, if instituted against us, could result in substantial costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources.

WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO ISSUE ADDITIONAL EQUITY SECURITIES, WHICH WOULD LEAD TO DILUTION OF OUR ISSUED AND OUTSTANDING COMMON STOCK

If we issue additional equity securities or securities convertible into equity securities, it would result in dilution of our existing stockholders’ equity interests in us. Our Board of Directors has the authority to issue, without vote or action of stockholders, preferred stock in one or more series, and has the ability to fix the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions of any such series. Any such series of preferred stock could contain dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, terms of redemption, redemption prices, liquidation preferences or other rights superior to the rights of holders of our common stock. If we issue convertible preferred stock, a subsequent conversion may dilute the current common stockholders’ interest.

If our holders of outstanding options and rights to purchase shares of our common stock exercise their options or rights, and sell the underlying shares of common stock we issue upon such exercise, our stockholders may experience substantial dilution and the market price of our shares of common stock could decline. Further, the perception that such securities might be exercised could adversely affect the trading price of our shares of common stock. In addition, during the time that such securities are outstanding, they may adversely affect the terms on which we could obtain additional capital.

CERTAIN OF OUR STOCKHOLDERS OWN LARGE INTERESTS IN OUR CAPITAL STOCK AND MAY SIGNIFICANTLY INFLUENCE OUR AFFAIRS

John Farahi and Bob Farahi, our officers and directors, together with John’s and Bob’s brother Ben Farahi, beneficially own in the aggregate approximately 32% of our outstanding common stock, inclusive of options held by them which are exercisable within 60 days. As such, members of the Farahi family, if voting together, have the ability to significantly influence our affairs, including the election of the board of directors and, except as otherwise provided by law, approving or disapproving other matters submitted to a vote of our stockholders, including a merger, consolidation, or sale of assets.

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WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO PAY OR MAINTAIN DIVIDENDS AND THE FAILURE TO DO SO WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT THE MARKET PRICE OF OUR COMMON STOCK.

Commencing in the second quarter of 2023, we intend to pay an annual cash dividend, payable in quarterly amounts, on our common stock. However, our ability to pay and maintain cash dividends is at the discretion of our board of directors and is based on many factors, including our earnings, liquidity, financial condition, funds from operations, the level of our capital expenditures and future business prospects, our ability to make and finance acquisitions, available acquisition opportunities, anticipated operating cost levels, the level of demand for the products and services offered at our properties, alternate capital deployment opportunities, and any other factors our board of directors considers relevant. Some of the factors are beyond our control and a change in any such factor could affect our ability to pay or maintain dividends. The failure to pay or maintain dividends could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

GENERAL RISKS

OUR INSURANCE COVERAGE MAY NOT BE ADEQUATE TO COVER ALL POSSIBLE LOSSES THAT OUR PROPERTIES COULD SUFFER. IN ADDITION, OUR INSURANCE COSTS MAY INCREASE AND WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO OBTAIN THE SAME INSURANCE COVERAGE IN THE FUTURE

Although we have general property insurance covering damage caused by a casualty loss (such as fire and natural disasters), each such policy has certain exclusions. In addition, our property insurance is in an amount that may be less than the expected replacement cost of rebuilding the applicable complex if there was a total loss. Our level of insurance coverage may not be adequate to cover all losses in the event of a major casualty. In addition, certain casualty events, such as public health emergencies, including pandemics such as the COVID-19, labor strikes, nuclear events, acts of war, loss of income due to cancellation of room reservations or conventions due to fear of terrorism, deterioration or corrosion, insect or animal damage and pollution, might not be covered at all under our policies. Therefore, certain acts, events or conditions could expose us to heavy, uninsured losses.

In addition, although we currently have insurance coverage for occurrences of terrorist acts and for certain losses that could result from these acts, our terrorism coverage is subject to the same risks and deficiencies as those described above for our general property coverage. The lack of sufficient insurance for these types of acts could expose us to heavy losses in the event that any damages occur, directly or indirectly, as a result of terrorist attacks or otherwise, which could have a significant negative impact on our operations.

In addition to the damage caused to our property by a casualty loss (such as fire, natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism), we may suffer business disruption as a result of these events or be subject to claims by third parties injured or harmed. While we carry business interruption insurance and general liability insurance, this insurance may not be adequate to cover all losses in such event.

We renew our insurance policies on an annual basis. The cost of coverage may become so high that we may need to reduce our policy limits or agree to certain exclusions from our coverage. Among other factors, it is possible that homeland security concerns, other catastrophic events or any change in government legislation governing insurance coverage for acts of terrorism could materially adversely affect available insurance coverage and result in increased premiums on available coverage (which may cause us to elect to reduce our policy limits) and additional exclusions from coverage. Among other potential future adverse changes, in the future we may elect not to, or may not be able to, obtain any coverage for losses due to acts of terrorism.

Our debt instruments and other material agreements require us to maintain a certain minimum level of insurance. Failure to satisfy these requirements could result in an event of default under these debt instruments or material agreements, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

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OUR CAPITAL EXPENDITURES MAY NOT RESULT IN THE EXPECTED IMPROVEMENTS IN OUR BUSINESS OR FINANCIAL RESULTS

We have expended a significant amount of capital on our multi-phased Monarch Black Hawk Expansion. We continuously invest in the upgrade and maintenance of our facilities to present a fresh, high quality product to our guests. Our ability to realize the expected returns on these capital investments depends on a number of factors, including, general economic conditions, changes to construction plans and specifications, delays in obtaining or inability to obtain necessary permits, licenses and approvals, disputes with contractors, disruptions to our business caused by construction and other unanticipated circumstances or cost increases.

While we believe that the overall budgets for our planned capital expenditures are reasonable, these costs are estimates and the actual costs may be higher than expected. In addition, we cannot assure you that these investments will be sufficient or that we will realize our expected returns on our capital investments, or any returns at all. If we fail to realize our expected returns on capital investments, it could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

CHANGES IN LEGISLATION AND REGULATION OF OUR BUSINESS COULD HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON OUR FINANCIAL CONDITION, RESULTS OF OPERATIONS AND CASH FLOWS

Regulations governing the conduct of gaming activities and the obligations of gaming companies in any jurisdiction in which we have or in the future may have gaming operations are subject to change and could impose additional operating, financial, competitive or other burdens on the way we conduct our business.

In particular, certain areas of law governing new gaming activities, such as the federal and state law applicable to sports betting, are new or developing in light of emerging technologies. New and developing areas of law may be subject to the interpretation of the government agencies tasked with enforcing them. In some circumstances, a government agency may interpret a statute or regulation in one manner and then reconsider its interpretation at a later date. No assurance can be provided that government agencies will interpret or enforce new or developing areas of law consistently, predictably, or favorably. Moreover, legislation to prohibit, limit or add burdens to our business may be introduced in the future in states where gaming has been legalized. In addition, from time to time, legislators and special interest groups have proposed legislation that would expand, restrict or prevent gaming operations or which may otherwise adversely impact our operations in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Any expansion of gaming or restriction on or prohibition of our gaming operations or enactment of other adverse regulatory changes could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.

NATURAL OR MAN-MADE DISASTERS, AN OUTBREAK OF HIGHLY INFECTIOUS DISEASE, TERRORIST ACTIVITY, GUN VIOLENCE OR WAR MAY HAVE A MATERIAL ADVERSE EFFECT ON OUR BUSINESS, RESULTS OF OPERATIONS AND CASH FLOWS

Natural disasters, man-made disasters and outbreaks of highly infectious diseases such as the COVID-19 may result in decreases in travel to and from, and economic activity in, areas in which we operate, and may adversely affect the number of visitors to our properties. In addition, catastrophic events, such as terrorist and war activities in the United States and elsewhere, have had a negative effect on travel and leisure expenditures, including lodging, gaming and tourism. If any of the foregoing events occur in the future, they could disrupt our operations, including our ability to staff our business adequately, damage our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows. Although we have insurance coverage with respect to some of these disasters or events, we cannot assure you that any such coverage will be sufficient to indemnify us fully against all direct and indirect costs, including any loss of business that could result from substantial damage to, or partial or complete destruction of, any of our properties.

WE ARE SUBJECT TO RISKS RELATED TO CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. 

Governments, investors, customers, employees and other stakeholders are increasingly focusing on corporate environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) practices and disclosures, and expectations in this area are rapidly evolving and growing. Our reputation and the value of our brand may be significantly affected if we fail to act responsibly in a number of areas including diversity and inclusion, community engagement and philanthropy,

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environmental sustainability, climate change, responsible gaming, supply chain management, and workplace conduct. Our failure to adopt and implement responsible ESG policies could also impact employee engagement and retention and the willingness of customers and our partners to do business with us, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

There were no unresolved comments from the SEC staff at the time of filing this Form 10-K.

ITEM 1C. CYBERSECURITY

Cybersecurity Risk Management and Strategy

In today's increasingly interconnected world, cybersecurity is not just a concern, it's a fundamental responsibility. At Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc., we understand that the security of our digital assets is essential to safeguarding our critical infrastructure, ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information, maintaining business continuity, and fostering trust with our stakeholders.

We are developing and implementing a robust and comprehensive cybersecurity program that aligns with industry best practices, regulatory requirements, and our Company’s specific risks in the evolving threat landscape. This program is designed to not only address current challenges but also proactively position us to mitigate future risks and maintain a resilient digital posture.

The foundation of our cybersecurity framework is built on continuous risk management practices. We conduct regular threat assessments, administrative reviews, and vulnerability scans to proactively identify and evaluate cybersecurity risks. Our strategy is developed to be in harmony with our business objectives, incorporating industry best practices, staying abreast of evolving cyber threats, and complying with regulatory standards.

Recognizing the critical role of human factors in cybersecurity, we implement comprehensive education and awareness programs for all employees. These programs are designed to promote safe online practices and encourage prompt incident reporting. Additionally, we conduct phishing simulations and other exercises to measure and improve our employees' ability to recognize and respond to cyber threats effectively.

Our incident response and recovery planning is a key component of our cybersecurity efforts. We have developed and documented an incident response plan that outlines specific procedures for identifying, containing, and remediating cyber incidents. Regular testing of this plan ensures its effectiveness, with adjustments made as necessary. Furthermore, we maintain backups of essential data and systems to enable swift recovery from any cyber incidents.

On the technical front, we deploy a variety of safeguards to protect our systems. These include firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, data encryption, and strict access controls. Regular updates and patches are applied to software and firmware to mitigate known vulnerabilities and strengthen our security posture.

Risk assessment is an ongoing process within our organization. We routinely perform assessments to identify, analyze, and prioritize cybersecurity risks. The outcomes of these assessments directly inform our cybersecurity strategy and guide the allocation of resources.

In response to the recent SEC cybersecurity disclosure rule, we have updated our cybersecurity program to incorporate the requirements to disclose, as appropriate or required and if deemed to be material, such a material incident via a Form 8-K within four (4) business days of determining the occurrence of such a cybersecurity incident.

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Management’s Role

Our chief information officer and our security architect are responsible for day-to-day assessing and managing the cybersecurity risk and threats through internal assessment tools as well as third-party control tests, for audits and evaluation against industry standards and regulations.

In addition, we have a management Cybersecurity committee, which is comprised of chief executive officer, chief information officer, corporate director of internal audit and executive vice president of finance. The Cybersecurity committee is responsible to set strategy and ensure our cybersecurity program is consistently evaluated and kept up to date with the latest developments in the cybersecurity.

Board of Directors Oversight

Our board of directors plays a crucial role in overseeing our cybersecurity program. The board receives regular updates on cybersecurity program's status and effectiveness by the Cybersecurity committee. The audit committee oversees the cybersecurity program and provides strategic guidance to management, ensuring that our approach to cybersecurity remains robust, proactive, and aligned with our business needs.

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ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

As of December 31, 2023, our properties consist of:

Reno, Nevada Properties:

(a)An approximately 13-acre site on which the Atlantis is situated, including the hotel towers, casino, restaurant facilities and surrounding parking.

(b)An approximately 16-acre site, adjacent to the Atlantis and connected to the Atlantis by the Sky Terrace, which includes approximately 11 acres of paved parking used for customer, employee and valet parking. The remainder of the site is undeveloped. This site is compliant with all casino zoning requirements and is suitable and available for future expansion of the Atlantis facilities, parking, or complementary resort casino and/or entertainment amenities. We have not determined the ultimate use of this site.

(c)An approximately 2.6-acre site across Virginia Street from the Atlantis which is utilized as administrative offices (“the Administrative Site”) for Atlantis staff.

(d)An approximately 5.3-acre site with a 14,376 square foot building across Coliseum Way from the Atlantis. The building is currently rented and the land is unused.

(e)Approximate 2.3-acre, 0.45-acre and 0.23-acre sites adjacent to the Administrative Site which are currently unused.

(f)Leased land consisting of approximately 37,400 square-feet adjacent to the Atlantis serving as a driveway entrance to the Atlantis. For a further description of the lease terms, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Notes 5 and 12.

(g)Leased land consisting of approximately 4.2 acres adjacent to the Atlantis serving as a surface parking lot for the Atlantis. For a further description of the lease terms, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Notes 5 and 12.

Black Hawk, Colorado Properties:

(a)An approximate 3.4-acre site on which the Monarch Black Hawk is situated including the hotel tower, casino, conference facilities, resort facilities, restaurant facilities and surrounding parking.

(b)An approximate 9.0-acre parcel of land with an industrial building, located between Denver and Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk, in Clear Creek County, Colorado, which is used as a warehouse.

Except for the 37,400 square feet and 4.2-acre parcels of real property adjacent to the Atlantis which are referenced above, we own all of our properties.

As of December 31, 2023, our Amended Credit Facility is secured by liens on substantially all of our real and personal property.

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

This information is incorporated by reference from Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data – Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 11 of this Form 10-K.

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

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PART II

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market Information. Our common stock trades on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol MCRI.

Stockholders. As of February 15, 2024, there were approximately 61 stockholders of record of our common stock.

Dividends. Up to December 31, 2022, we have never paid dividends on our common stock. We had used our free cash flow to finance our operating activities, our capital expenditures and to pay down our debt.

On February 7, 2023, the Company’s board of directors authorized a one-time cash dividend of $5.00 per share of its outstanding common stock, payable on March 15, 2023, to stockholders of record of the Company on March 1, 2023. The board of directors also approved, commencing in the second quarter of 2023, a recurring annual cash dividend of $1.20 per outstanding share of Common Stock to be paid in quarterly amounts. In 2023 we paid $5.90 per share of its outstanding common stock. See Item 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA, Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Note 13.

Our ability to pay and maintain cash dividends is at the discretion of our board of directors and is based on many factors, including our earnings, liquidity, financial condition, funds from operations, the level of our capital expenditures and future business prospects, our ability to make and finance acquisitions, available acquisition opportunities, anticipated operating cost levels, the level of demand for the products and services offered at our properties, alternate capital deployment opportunities, and any other factors our board of directors considers relevant. While we intend to pay dividends quarterly, there can be no assurance that our board of directors will declare dividends at all or on a regular basis or that the amount of our dividends will not change.

Unregistered Purchases of Equity Securities

The following table presents the number and average price of shares purchased in each fiscal month of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023:

    

Total number of shares purchased (1)

    

Average price paid per share (2)

Total number of shares purchased as part of publicly announced plans or programs (1) (2)

Maximum number of shares that may yet be purchased under the plans or programs (2)

October 1, 2023 - October 31, 2023

84,503

$

59.46

184,503

2,815,497

November 1, 2023 - November 30, 2023

 

2,815,497

December 1, 2023 - December 31, 2023

 

2,815,497

Total

84,503

$

59.46

184,503

2,815,497

(1)This amount represents a repurchase pursuant to our Repurchase Plan, see Note 8. STOCK REPURCHASE PLAN.
(2)In December 2023, under the authority of the Repurchase Plan, the Company purchased 84,503 shares at average price between $59.23 and $59.99 per share on the open market.

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STOCK PERFORMANCE GRAPH

The following chart reflects the cumulative total shareholder return (change in stock price plus reinvested dividends) of a $100 investment in our common stock from the five-year period from December 31, 2018 through December 31, 2023, in comparison to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Stock Index and the Standard & Poor’s 1500 Casinos & Gaming Index. The comparisons are not intended to forecast or be indicative of possible future performance of our common stock.

The following performance graph shall not be deemed to be "filed" for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, nor shall this information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into a filing.

Graphic

Period Ending

Index

    

12/31/2018

    

12/31/2019

    

12/31/2020

    

12/31/2021

    

12/31/2022

    

12/31/2023

 

Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc.

100.00

127.29

160.51

193.89

201.60

196.32

 

S&P 500 Index

 

100.00

 

131.49

 

155.68

 

200.37

 

164.08

 

207.21

S&P 1500 Casinos & Gaming Index

 

100.00

 

150.30

 

173.56

 

171.00

 

135.35

 

156.34

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence

© 2024

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Repurchases

On October 22, 2014, the board of directors of Monarch authorized a stock repurchase plan (the “Repurchase Plan”). Under the Repurchase Plan, the board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to 3,000,000 shares of our common stock in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions from time to time, in compliance with Rule 10b-18 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, subject to market conditions, applicable legal requirements and other factors. The Repurchase Plan does not obligate us to acquire any particular amount of common stock and the Repurchase Plan may be suspended at any time at our discretion, and it will continue until exhausted. The actual timing, number and value of shares repurchased under the Repurchase Plan will be determined by management at its discretion and will depend on a number of factors, including the market price of our common stock, general market economic conditions and applicable legal requirements.

During the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2023, the Company purchased 84,503 shares of Company’s common stock on the open market under the Repurchase Plan. As of December 31, 2023, we have an authorization to purchase up to 2,815,497 shares under the Repurchase Plan.

ITEM 6. RESERVED

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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion is intended to assist in the understanding of our results of operations and our present financial condition. The consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes contain additional detailed information that should be referred to when reviewing this material.

Cautionary Note on 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, (the “Exchange Act”) regarding our expectations and beliefs concerning the cost, financing and impact of our Monarch Black Hawk Expansion; future expansion and acquisition opportunities; positioning of our properties to benefit from future macro and local economic growth; business prospects; business strategies and outlook; competitive advantages and sources of competition; marketing strategy; approvals and licensing requirements; employee relations; capital requirements; anticipated source of funds and adequacy of such funds to meet our debt obligations and capital requirements; financial condition, legal matters 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,” “we cannot assure you,” “although no assurance can be given,” or “there is no way to anticipate with certainty,” forward-looking statements are being made. Example of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding: (i) our belief that we have sufficient liquidity to fund our operations and any remaining renovation projects, litigation costs and ongoing capital expenditures; (ii) our belief that our business is well-positioned to benefit from the continued gaming industry expansion after the pandemic; (iii) our expectation regarding the availability of future acquisition opportunities; (iv) our beliefs regarding the quality of our products and guest services in Reno and Black Hawk; (v) our expectations regarding our guests' acceptance of the expanded casino, new hotel and enhanced amenities at Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk; (vi) our expectations regarding our future position in, and share of, the high-end segment of the market and the quality of service we provide to our guests; (vii) our expectations regarding the litigation relating to the construction of the Monarch Black Hawk expansion and related liens recorded by the general contractor and certain subcontractors against the Monarch Black Hawk; (viii) our belief regarding the proximity that the Reno-Sparks Convention Center will have for the Atlantis and the normalization of the convention business to pre-pandemic levels; (ix) the continuing strength of our balance sheet and our expected free cash flow; (x) our expectations regarding continuing our dividend payments in the future; (xi) our belief regarding the appeal of the locations of our properties to certain segments of our customers; and (xii) our expectations regarding broad-based employment growth in the Reno market. Actual results and future events and conditions may differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements. Therefore, you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements.

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 ability to successfully implement our business and growth strategies;
our ability to successfully defend against and remove the liens recorded against the Monarch Black Hawk by the general contractor and certain subcontractors with respect to the expansion and renovation of the property;
access to available and reasonable financing on a timely basis;
our ability to maintain strong working relationships with our regulators, employees, lenders, suppliers, insurance carriers, customers, and other stakeholders;
impact of any uninsured losses;

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changes in guest visitation or spending patterns due to health or other concerns;
construction factors, including delays, disruptions, availability of labor and materials, increased costs of labor and materials, contractor disagreements, zoning issues, environmental restrictions, soil and water conditions, weather and other hazards, site access matters, building permit issues and other regulatory approvals or issues;
ongoing disagreements over costs of and responsibility for delays and other construction related matters with our Monarch Black Hawk general contractor, PCL Construction Services, Inc., including, as previously reported, the litigation against us by such contractor;
affirmative and extensive counterclaims for construction defects, breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud, fraudulent inducement, negligence and other construction related claims that we have filed against the Monarch Black Hawk contractor, PCL Construction Services, Inc., in the above-mentioned litigation in which litigation the parties are currently awaiting the Court’s decision following the trial of the matter in September, October, and November of 2023;
our potential need to post bonds or other forms of surety to support our legal remedies;
risks related to development and construction activities (including disputes with and defaults by contractors and subcontractors; construction, equipment or staffing problems and delays; shortages of materials or skilled labor; environmental, health and safety issues; weather and other hazards, site access matters, and unanticipated cost increases);
changes in laws mandating increases in minimum wages and employee benefits;
changes in laws, rules and regulations permitting expanded and other forms of gaming in our key markets;
the effects of labor shortages on our market position, growth and financial results;
current broad-based inflation on the economy, including wage inflation;
the potential of increases in state and federal taxation to address budgetary and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic;
the potential of increased regulatory and other burdens to address the direct and indirect impacts of the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19 pandemic;
guest acceptance of our expanded facilities at Monarch Black Hawk and the resulting impact on our market position, growth and financial results;
competition in our target market areas;
our dependence on two resorts;
our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of our expansion and renovation projects, including the Monarch Black Hawk Expansion;
our ability to effectively manage expenses to optimize our margins and operating results;
risks related to our present indebtedness and future borrowings and our ability to meet our debt obligations and comply with our loan covenants;
adverse trends in the gaming industries;
changes in patron demographics;
general market and economic conditions, including but not limited to, the effects of local and national economic, credit and capital market conditions, housing and energy conditions on the economy in general and on the gaming and lodging industries in particular;
our ability to generate sufficient operating cash flow to finance our expansion plans and fund working capital;
the impact of rising interest rates and our ability to refinance debt as it matures at commercially reasonable rates or at all;
disruptions and shortages in the supply chain;
ability of large stockholders to influence our affairs;
our dependence on key personnel;
the availability of adequate levels of insurance;
changes in federal, state, and local laws, rules and regulations, including environmental and gaming licenses or legislation and regulations;
our ability to comply with existing laws and regulations to which we are subject;

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our ability to obtain and maintain gaming and other governmental licenses and regulatory approvals;
any violations by us of the anti-money laundering laws;
cybersecurity risks, including misappropriation of customer information or other breaches of information security;
impact of natural disasters, severe weather, terrorist activity and similar events;
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;
our ability to successfully estimate the impact of accounting, tax and legal matters;
risks, uncertainties and other factors described from time to time in this and our other SEC filings and reports;
the effects of macro and micro economic conditions on employment growth in the economy in general;
the effects of labor shortages on our ability to grow our business and to expand our market share in each of our key markets;
our ability to generate sufficient cash flow and manage our expenses to deleverage the Company; and
the impact of the events occurring in Eastern Europe, including the conflict taking place in Ukraine, and other parts of the world;
adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic or other infectious disease outbreak on our business, construction projects, financial condition and operating results;
actions by government officials at the federal, state and/or local level with respect to steps to be taken, including, without limitation, temporary or extended shutdowns, travel restrictions, social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic or other infectious disease outbreak;
our ability to manage guest safety concerns caused by COVID-19 or other infectious disease outbreak.

For a more detailed description of certain Risk Factors affecting our business, see Item 1A, “Risk Factors.”

We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of future developments, events or conditions, except as required by law. 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.

OVERVIEW

Monarch owns and operates the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, a hotel and casino in Reno, Nevada (the “Atlantis”) and Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk, a hotel and casino in Black Hawk, Colorado (the “Monarch Black Hawk”). In addition, we own separate parcels of land located next to the Atlantis and a parcel of land with an industrial warehouse located between Denver, Colorado and the Monarch Black Hawk. We also own Chicago Dogs Eatery, Inc. and Monarch Promotional Association, both of which were formed in relation to licensure requirements for extended hours of liquor operation in Black Hawk, Colorado.

Our business strategy is to maximize revenues, operating income and cash flow primarily through our casino, food and beverage, and hotel operations at the Atlantis and Monarch Black Hawk. We focus on delivering exceptional service and value to our guests. Our hands-on management style focuses on customer service and cost efficiencies.

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FACTORS IMPACTING OUR RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Our operating results may be affected by, among other things, competitive factors, gaming tax increases, mandated minimum wages, the commencement of new gaming operations, renovations at our facilities, general public sentiment regarding travel and public gatherings, overall economic conditions and governmental policies affecting the disposable income of our patrons, public health conditions including both pandemics such as the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and localized outbreaks of infectious diseases, terrorism and weather conditions affecting our properties, as well as those matters discussed in Item 1A. “RISK FACTORS” above.

The following significant factors and trends should be considered in analyzing our operating performance:

Atlantis: We continuously upgrade our property. With quality gaming, hotel and dining products, we believe the Atlantis is well positioned to benefit from future macro and local economic growth. Reno remains a healthy local-oriented market, but at the same time a very competitive market. The market’s employment growth is broad based and we expect this positive indicator will support the continued strength of our business at Atlantis. At the same time, the tight employment environment has created labor challenges, including wage inflation, which we are actively managing. In addition, we are facing additional competition from the continued growth of California tribal gaming and an extremely competitive promotional environment in Northern Nevada. The increase in the labor costs and the other inflationary pressures, combined with continued aggressive marketing programs by our competitors, has applied pressure on Atlantis’ revenue growth, operating costs and profit margins.

Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk: Monarch Black Hawk is the first property encountered by visitors arriving from Denver and other major population centers via Highway 119. The Denver metro economy remains strong with higher than the national average per capita personal income. At the beginning of 2022, we completed the master planned renovation and expansion, transforming the property into a world-class resort. Monarch Black Hawk is positioned to leverage from the expanded operation, and take advantage of the elimination of betting limits and allowance of new game types in Black Hawk, Colorado, as well as to benefit from the growing state-wide online and retail sports betting. Monarch Black Hawk also is experiencing labor challenges, resulting from the distance to the staffing filter markets of Golden, Colorado and the Denver Metro area and low unemployment at those markets. We continue to attract high value players from across Colorado’s Front Range, who had previously tended to travel to other markets, such as Las Vegas, for a high-end casino entertainment experience. We believe that the quality of our expanded product and exceptional guest service will meet the demand of the high-end segment of the market and will grow revenue and accelerate market share.

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

We use certain Key Performance Indicators (“KPI”) to manage our operation and measure our performance.

Gaming revenue KPI: Our management reviews on a consistent basis the volume metrics and hold percentage metrics for each gaming area. The main volume measurements are slot coin-in, table games drop, sportsbook write and keno write. Slot coin-in represents the dollar amount wagered in slot machines, including free promotional wagers. Table games drop represents the total amount of cash and net markers deposited in the table drop box. Keno write and sportsbook write represents the dollar amount wagered at our counters, along with sportsbook write made through our mobile wagering system. Volume metrics are important in managing the business, as our gaming win is affected by actual hold percentage, which in general varies from the expected hold percentage and historical hold percentage. Gaming win represents the amount of wagers retained by us. Hold percentage represents win as a percentage of slot coin-in, table game drop, sportsbook write, or keno write. Our win and hold percentages are calculated before discounts, commissions, deferring revenue associated with our loyalty programs and allocating casino revenues related to goods and services provided to patrons on a complimentary basis.

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Food and Beverage revenue KPI: The main KPIs in managing our food and beverage (“F&B”) operations are covers and average revenue per cover. A cover represents the number of guests served and is an indicator of volume. Average revenue per cover represents the average amount spent per food and beverage outlets’ served guests. Changes in the average revenue per cover might be an indicator for changes in menu offerings, changes in menu prices or may indicate changes in our guests’ preferences and purchasing habits.

Hotel revenue KPI: The main KPIs used in managing our hotel operation are the occupancy rate (a volume indicator), which is the average percentage of available hotel rooms occupied during a period, and the average daily rate (“ADR”, a price indicator), which is the average price per sold room. Available rooms exclude those rooms unavailable for occupancy during the period due to renovation, development, or other requirements. Sold rooms include rooms where the guests do not show up for their stay and lose their deposit. The calculations of the occupancy rate and ADR include the impact of rooms provided on a complimentary basis. Revenue per available room ("RevPAR") represents total hotel revenue per available room and is a representation of the occupancy rate, ADR and miscellaneous hotel sales.

Operating margins: Our management is consistently focused on controlling expenses and finding cost savings, without affecting the quality of the product we offer and our guests’ services and experience. We measure our performance using expense margin, which is a percentage of direct expenses, including labor, cost of product and any other operating expenses related to the gaming, food and beverage, or hotel operation to the net gaming, food and beverage, or hotel revenues. Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) margin represents SG&A expenses for a period as a percentage of total net revenue for a period. In managing the food and beverage operation we use Cost Of Goods Sold (“COGS”) percentage, which represents a percentage of product cost to the food and beverage revenue and is a measurement of commodity prices and menu sales prices.

Our management evaluates the KPI as compared to prior periods, the peer group, or market, as well as for any trends.

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk Expansion

Our financial results for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021 were positively impacted by the phased opening and ramp up of operations at our newly transformed Monarch Black Hawk. The opening began in the fourth quarter of 2020. The new hotel, including a spa and pool on the top floor, were fully opened to the public in the first quarter of 2021. In May 2021, we opened our new poker room and in mid-December 2021 we opened our new sportsbook, lounge and bar and additional casino space at the legacy part of the building. In February 2022, we completed the Monarch Black Hawk expansion with the opening of a new specialty restaurant. With the opening of our expanded casino floor at the beginning of 2021 and the additional casino space at the legacy building in early 2022, we increased the number of slot machines by approximately 300 and table games by 28, compared to the pre-opening of the Monarch Black Hawk expansion active gaming devices.

Comparison of Operating Results for the Years Ended December 31, 2023 and 2022

For 2023, our net income totaled $82.4 million, or $4.20 per diluted share, compared to net income of $87.5 million, or $4.47 per diluted share for the same period of 2022, reflecting a 5.8% decrease in net income and 6.0% decrease in diluted EPS (“Earnings Per Share”). Net income and diluted EPS for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, were impacted by: i) the effective tax rate (24.0% in 2023 and 19.8% in 2022), which varied primarily based on the amount of the excess tax benefit on stock compensation and drove a $4.8 million and $0.24 decrease in net income and diluted EPS, respectively; and ii) higher depreciation expense in 2023 compared to 2022, which drove $3.9 million and $0.19 decrease in net income and diluted EPS, respectively. Net revenue for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 were $501.5 million and $477.9 million, respectively, reflecting an increase of $23.6 million, or 4.9%.

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Casino revenue increased 4.3% in the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to the same period of 2022. Casino operating expense as a percentage of casino revenue increased to 36.4% for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to 35.1% in 2022, primarily due to increases in labor and slots participation expenses, as well as an increase in promotional allowances at both properties.

Food and beverage revenue increased 8.1% in the year ended December 31, 2023 over the same period in 2022, due to a 5.6% increase in average revenue per cover combined with a 2.4% increase in covers. Food and beverage operating expense as a percentage of food and beverage revenue in the year ended December 31, 2023 was 72.4% compared to 75.5% over the same period in 2022. Food and beverage operating expense as a percentage of food and beverage revenue decreased as a result of cost efficiency and an increase in average revenue per cover as we were actively aligning menu prices with the food and labor costs.

Hotel revenue decreased 0.3% in the year ended December 31, 2023 over the same period in 2022 due to a decrease in ADR from $175.07 for the year ended December 31, 2022 to $172.56 for the year ended December 31, 2023, offset by higher hotel occupancy of 84.5% in 2023 compared to 79.9% in 2022. RevPAR was $159.20 in 2023 and $153.44 in 2022. Hotel operating expense as a percent of the hotel revenue for the year ended December 31, 2023 was 37.2% compared to 35.8% for the same period in 2022. The decrease in the hotel expense margin was primarily due to the decrease in ADR. The group and convention business is still below the pre-pandemic level.

Other revenue increased 14.9% in 2023 compared to 2022 driven primarily by increases in spa and retail revenues, partially offset by a decline in arcade revenue.

SG&A expense increased to $105.8 million in the year ended December 31, 2023 from $97.6 million in the same period of 2022 due to: i) a $3.8 million increase in salaries, wages and related employee benefits expense; ii) a $1.1 million increase in property taxes; iii) a $1.1 million increase in utility expense; iv) a $1.1 million increase in repairs and maintenance expense; v) a $0.5 million increase in insurance expense; and vi) a $0.6 million increase in other expenses. The increase in expense is primarily a result of the ramp up of the expanded operation at Monarch Black Hawk, as well as inflation related price increases. As a percentage of net revenue, SG&A expense increased to 21.1% in 2023 from 20.4% in 2022.

Depreciation and amortization expense increased to $47.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, as compared to $43.4 million for the same period in 2022 primarily due to the addition of assets related to the redesign and upgrade of the hotel rooms at Atlantis and the Oyster and Sushi Bar Restaurant located on the Sky Terrace at Atlantis.

During the year ended December 31, 2023, we recognized $6.9 million in construction litigation expense related to the lawsuit filed by the Monarch Black Hawk Expansion construction project general contractor against the Company and our countersuit against the general contractor and $0.2 million in loss on disposal of assets, offset by $1.2 million net proceeds from a sale of a COVID closure related insurance claim. During the year ended December 31, 2022, we recognized $7.3 million in construction litigation expense related to the lawsuit filed by the Monarch Black Hawk Expansion construction project general contractor against the Company and our countersuit against the general contractor, offset by $0.1 million of gain on disposed assets and $0.1 million of insurance claims proceeds. These expenses are included in Other operating items, net in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.

During the year ended December 31, 2023, we decreased the outstanding principal balance under our Amended Credit Facility by $1.5 million to $5.5 million as of December 31, 2023. During 2023 and 2022, we recognized $1.6 million and $2.4 million, respectively, in interest expense, net of interest income. See further discussion of our Amended Credit Facility in the LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES section below.

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Comparison of Operating Results for the Years Ended December 31, 2022 and 2021

Refer to ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022.

CAPITAL SPENDING AND DEVELOPMENT

We seek to continuously upgrade and maintain our facilities in order to present a fresh, high quality product to our guests. Capital expenditures during the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 were as follows (in thousands):

    

2023

    

2022

 

Atlantis

$

43,634

$

32,058

Monarch Black Hawk

 

7,762

 

16,353

$

51,396

$

48,411

During the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, capital expenditures related primarily to the major redesign and upgrade of all hotel rooms in the first and second towers and complete renovation of the high-end suites on the top floors of the third hotel tower at Atlantis, the redesign and upgrade of the Oyster and Sushi Bar Restaurant located in the Sky Terrace at Atlantis and the acquisition of gaming equipment at both of our properties.

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

Our principal sources of liquidity are cash provided by operations and, for capital expansion projects, borrowings available under our Amended Credit Facility.

Operating Activities

For the year ended December 31, 2023, net cash provided by operating activities totaled $173.0 million, an increase of $33.3 million, or 23.8%, compared to the same period of the prior year. This increase was primarily due to a $23.8 million federal income tax refund received from IRS, and a $14.4 million change in working capital, of which $12.8 million is from an increase in accounts payable, primarily construction payable, offset by $5.0 million decrease in net income.

Investing Activities

Net cash used in investing activities totaled $51.2 million and $48.0 million in the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively. Net cash used in investing activities during the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 consisted primarily of cash used for renovation projects at Atlantis, and for the acquisition of gaming and other equipment at both properties.

Financing Activities

Net cash used in financing activities of $117.2 million in 2023 represented $112.8 million used for payment of dividends, $5.0 million used for the repurchase of Company common stock under the Repurchase Plan and $1.5 million principal payments under the Amended Credit Facility, offset by $2.1 million of proceeds from stock options exercise, net of payroll taxes from net exercises. Net cash used in financing activities of $86.5 million in 2022 represented $83.0 million principal payments under the Amended Credit Facility and $6.5 million used for the for repurchase of Company common stock under the Repurchase Plan, offset by $3.0 million of proceeds from stock options exercise, net of payroll taxes from net exercises.

On January 5, 2023, we received $23.8 million payment from Internal Revenue Service, which included $23.2 million refund and $0.6 million interest income. We expect to receive the rest of the refund in the next few quarters.

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We expect that the Company’s cash position in the next several quarters may be negatively impacted by the outstanding construction retention and other payments related to the Monarch Black Hawk Expansion project of $47.6 million, which are reflected in “Construction Accounts Payable” on the balance sheet as of December 31, 2023.

Purchase obligations of materials and supplies used in the normal operation of our business represent approximately $16.3 million as of December 31, 2023 and all are cancelable by us upon providing a 30-day notice.

Amended Credit Facility

On February 1, 2023, the Company entered into the Fifth Amended and Restated Credit Agreement (the “Amended Credit Facility”) with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as administrative agent. The Amended Credit Facility provides for a $100 million line of credit which matures on January 1, 2025.

As of December 31, 2023, the Company had an outstanding principal balance of $5.5 million under the Amended Credit Facility, a $0.6 million letter of credit and $93.9 million remained available for borrowing.

Borrowings under the Amended Credit Facility are secured by liens on substantially all of the Company’s real and personal property.

In addition to other customary covenants for a facility of this nature, as of December 31, 2023, we are required to maintain a Total Leverage Ratio (as defined in the Amended Credit Facility) of no more than 4.0:1 and Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio (as defined in the Amended Credit Facility) of at least 1.15:1. As of December 31, 2023, our Total Leverage Ratio and Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio were 0.04:1 and 46.18:1.

The interest rate under the Amended Credit Facility is SOFR (the Secured Overnight Financing Rate) plus a margin ranging from 1.00% to 1.50%, or a base rate (as defined in the Amended Credit Facility) plus a margin ranging from 0.00% to 0.50%. The applicable margins will vary depending on the Company’s leverage ratio. In addition, SOFR-based loans will incur a 0.10% credit adjustment spread due to the conversion from LIBOR to SOFR as the new benchmark rate. As of December 31, 2023, the interest rate was 8.50%, or SOFR plus a 1.00% margin.

We believe that the expected cash flows from operating activities and the $93.9 million available under our Amended Credit Facility as of December 31, 2023 will be sufficient to support our current operations, meet our debt obligations and fulfill our capital expenditure plans for the twelve months from the filing of Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023; however, we are surrounded by uncertainty about financial, economic, competitive, regulatory, and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow in the upcoming months or if our cash needs exceed the Company’s borrowing capacity under the Amended Credit Facility, we could be required to adopt one or more alternatives, such as reducing, delaying or eliminating planned capital expenditures, selling assets, restructuring debt or issuing additional equity.

CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES

We prepare our consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”). Certain of our policies, including the estimated useful lives assigned to our assets, the determination of the allowance for doubtful accounts and allowance for unredeemed gift certificates, self-insurance reserves, deferred revenue, the calculation of income tax liabilities and the calculation of stock-based compensation, require that we apply significant judgment in defining the appropriate assumptions for calculating financial estimates. By their nature, these judgments are subject to an inherent degree of uncertainty. Our judgments are based on historical experience, terms of existing contracts, observation of trends in the industry, information provided by customers and information available from other outside sources, as appropriate. There can be no assurance that actual results will not differ from our estimates. To provide an understanding of the methodologies applied, our significant accounting policies are discussed where appropriate in this discussion and analysis and in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

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The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Monarch and its subsidiaries. Intercompany balances and transactions are eliminated.

Casino Revenues

Casino revenues represent the net win from gaming activity, which is the difference between the amounts won and lost, which represents the transaction price. Jackpots, other than the incremental amount of progressive jackpots, are recognized at the time they are won by customers. Funds deposited by customers in advance and outstanding chips and slot tickets in the customers’ possession are recognized as a liability until such amounts are redeemed or used in gaming play by the customer. Additionally, net win is reduced by the performance obligations for the players’ club program, progressive jackpots and any pre-arranged marker discounts. The players club performance obligations result in recognition of deferred revenue at the standalone selling prices (“SSP”) of the goods and services that the points are expected to be redeemed for. Progressive jackpot provisions are recognized in two components: 1) as wagers are made for the share of players’ wagers that are contributed to the progressive jackpot award, and 2) as jackpots are won for the portion of the progressive jackpot award contributed by us. Cash discounts and other cash incentives to guests related to gaming play are recorded as a reduction to gaming revenue.

Income Taxes

Income taxes are recorded in accordance with the liability method pursuant to authoritative guidance. Under the asset and liability approach for financial accounting and reporting for income taxes, the following basic principles are applied in accounting for income taxes at the date of the financial statements: (a) a current liability or asset is recognized for the estimated taxes payable or refundable on taxes for the current year; (b) a deferred income tax liability or asset is recognized for the estimated future tax effects attributable to temporary differences and carryforwards; (c) the measurement of current and deferred tax liabilities and assets is based on the provisions of the enacted tax law; the effects of future changes in tax laws or rates are not anticipated; and (d) the measurement of deferred income taxes is reduced, if necessary, by the amount of any tax benefits that, based upon available evidence, are not expected to be realized.

Our income tax returns are subject to examination by tax authorities. We assess potentially unfavorable outcomes of such examinations based on accounting standards for uncertain income taxes. Under the accounting guidance, we may recognize the tax benefit from an uncertain tax position only if it is more likely than not that the tax position will be sustained on examination by the taxing authorities based on the technical merits of the position. The tax benefits recognized in the financial statements from such a position should be measured based on the largest benefit that has a greater than 50.0% likelihood of being realized upon ultimate settlement. It also provides guidance on derecognition, measurement, classification, interest and penalties, accounting in interim periods and disclosure.

Stock-based Compensation

We account for stock-based compensation in accordance with authoritative guidance which establishes standards for the accounting for transactions in which an entity exchanges its equity instruments for goods and services or incurs a liability in exchange for goods and services that are based on the fair value of the entity’s equity instruments or that may be settled by the issuance of those equity instruments. It requires an entity to measure the costs of employee services received in exchange for an award of equity instruments based on the grant-date fair value of the award and recognize that cost over the service period. We calculate the grant-date fair value using the Black-Scholes valuation model.

The Black-Scholes valuation model requires the input of highly subjective assumptions which include the expected term of options granted, risk-free interest rates, expected volatility, and expected rates of dividends. We estimate an expected term for each stock option grant based on the weighted-average time between grant date and exercise date and the risk-free interest rate assumption was based on U.S. Treasury rates appropriate for the expected term. We use historical data and projections to estimate expected volatility and expected employee behaviors related to option exercises and forfeitures.

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RECENTLY ISSUED ACCOUNTING STANDARDS

A variety of proposed or otherwise potential accounting standards are currently under review and study by standard-setting organizations and certain regulatory agencies. Because of the tentative and preliminary nature of such proposed standards, we have not yet determined the effect, if any, the implementation of any such proposed or revised standards would have on the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements.

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

Market risk is the risk of loss arising from adverse changes in interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates and commodity prices. Our current primary market risk exposure is interest rate risk relating to the short-term floating interest rates on borrowings under our Amended Credit Facility. As of December 31, 2023, we had $5.5 million of outstanding debt under our Amended Credit Facility which bears interest at variable rates. A hypothetical 2% increase in the interest rate on the balance outstanding under the Amended Credit Facility on December 31, 2023 would result in an increase in our annual interest cost of approximately $0.1 million. As of December 31, 2023, we have $93.9 million of available borrowing capacity under our Amended Credit Facility.

We do not have any cash or cash equivalents as of December 31, 2023 which are subject to market risk.

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ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the Stockholders and the Board of Directors of

Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. and subsidiaries (the Company) as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, the related consolidated statements of income, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2023, and the related notes and financial statement schedule listed in the Index at Item 15(a)(2) (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company at December 31, 2023 and 2022, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2023, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company's internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework), and our report dated February 28, 2024 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.

Basis for Opinion

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Critical Audit Matters

Critical audit matters are matters arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that were communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relate to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective or complex judgments. We determined that there are no critical audit matters.

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2003.

Las Vegas, Nevada

February 28, 2024

45

MONARCH CASINO & RESORT, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

(In thousands, except shares and per share data)

Year Ended December 31, 

 

2023

    

2022

    

2021

 

Revenues

Casino

$

282,292

$

270,756

$

233,413

Food and beverage

126,628

117,156

91,080

Hotel

70,986

71,179

54,374

Other

21,572

18,779

16,510

Net revenues

501,478

 

 

477,870

 

395,377

Operating expenses

Casino

102,771

95,076

75,258

Food and beverage

91,629

88,440

72,684

Hotel

26,434

25,508

22,106

Other

11,469

9,254

7,668

Selling, general and administrative

105,819

97,602

84,427

Depreciation and amortization

47,294

43,433

38,428

Other operating items, net

5,910

7,115

4,929

Total operating expenses

391,326

 

 

366,428

 

305,500

Income from operations

110,152

 

 

111,442

 

89,877

Other expense

Interest expense, net

(1,625)

 

 

(2,420)

 

(4,506)

Income before income taxes

108,527

109,022

85,371

Provision for income taxes

(26,079)

(21,543)

(16,883)

Net income

$

82,448

 

$

87,479

 

$

68,488

Earnings per share of common stock

Net income

Basic

$

4.28

$

4.60

$

3.68

Diluted

$

4.20

$

4.47

$

3.53

Weighted average number of common shares and potential common shares outstanding

Basic

 

19,244

18,996

18,617

Diluted

 

19,618

19,578

19,427

The accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements are an integral part of these statements.

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MONARCH CASINO & RESORT, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In thousands, except shares)

 

December 31, 

2023

    

2022

ASSETS

Current assets

Cash and cash equivalents

$

43,361

 

$

38,779

Receivables, net

11,990

 

9,566

Income taxes receivable

1,006

 

24,989

Inventories

7,614

 

7,558

Prepaid expenses

10,995

 

8,537

Total current assets

 

74,966

 

 

89,429

Property and equipment, net

 

580,497

 

 

578,050

Goodwill

 

25,111

 

 

25,111

Intangible assets, net

 

299

 

 

352

Total assets

$

680,873

 

$

692,942

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

Current liabilities

Current maturities of long-term debt, net

$

$

6,693

Accounts payable

23,092

 

14,418

Construction accounts payable

47,566

 

49,957

Accrued expenses

 

51,812

 

 

46,037

Short-term lease liability

897

 

639

Total current liabilities

 

 

123,367

 

 

117,744

Deferred income taxes

23,084

23,016

Long-term lease liability

14,021

 

13,228

Long-term debt

 

5,500

 

 

Other long-term liability

1,761

Total liabilities

 

167,733

 

 

153,988

Stockholders’ equity

 

Preferred stock, $.01 par value, 10,000,000 shares authorized; none issued

 

Common stock, $.01 par value, 30,000,000 shares authorized; 19,154,031 shares issued and 19,091,497 outstanding at December 31, 2023; 19,096,300 shares issued and 19,093,676 outstanding at December 31, 2022

191

 

191

Additional paid-in capital

 

48,821

 

 

40,716

Treasury stock, 62,534 shares at December 31, 2023; 2,624 shares at December 31, 2022

 

(3,718)

 

 

(170)

Retained earnings

 

467,846

 

 

498,217

Total stockholders’ equity

 

513,140

 

 

538,954

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

$

680,873

 

$

692,942

The accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements are an integral part of these statements.

47

MONARCH CASINO & RESORT, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

(In thousands, except shares)

Common Stock

Additional

Shares

Paid-in

Retained

Treasury

    

Outstanding

    

Amount

    

Capital

    

Earnings

    

Stock

    

Total

 

Balance, December 31, 2020

 

18,426,130

 

$

191

 

$

34,498

 

$

342,250

 

$

(8,872)

 

$

368,067

Exercise of stock options, net

 

338,410

 

2,868

 

 

4,531

 

7,399

Stock-based compensation expense

 

 

 

4,060

 

 

 

4,060

Net income

 

 

 

 

68,488

 

 

68,488

Balance, December 31, 2021

18,764,540

 

$

191

 

$

41,426

 

$

410,738

 

$

(4,341)

 

$

448,014

Exercise of stock options, net

406,641

 

(7,714)

10,370

2,656

Restricted stock granted

22,495

1,909

301

2,210

Purchase of company common stock

(100,000)

(6,500)

(6,500)

Stock-based compensation expense

 

 

 

 

5,095

 

 

 

5,095

Net income

 

 

 

 

87,479

 

 

87,479

Balance, December 31, 2022

 

19,093,676

 

$

191

 

$

40,716

 

$

498,217

 

$

(170)

 

$

538,954

Exercise of stock options, net

76,459

 

358

1,130

1,488

Restricted stock granted

5,865

271

350

621

Purchase of company common stock

(84,503)

(5,028)

(5,028)

Dividend payment

(112,819)

(112,819)

Stock-based compensation expense

 

 

 

 

7,476

 

 

 

7,476

Net income

 

 

 

 

 

82,448

 

 

82,448

Balance, December 31, 2023

 

19,091,497

 

$

191

 

$

48,821

 

$

467,846

 

$

(3,718)

 

$

513,140

The accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements are an integral part of these statements.

48

MONARCH CASINO & RESORT, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(in thousands)

Year Ended December 31, 

    

2023

    

2022

    

2021

 

Cash flows from operating activities:

Net income

$

82,448

 

$