The rising demand for weight-loss drugs, such as Novo Nordisk’s brand products Ozempic and Wegovy, could have a substantial impact on multiple industries, including casino gaming, according to a recent report by Bank of America analysts. As increasing numbers of individuals seek doctor-approved weight-loss drugs, known as GLP-1 agonists, the industries susceptible to such pharmaceutical usage may face potential drawbacks.
Analyst Shaun Kelley highlighted research indicating a correlation between problem wagering and obesity. He estimates that around a tenth to a third of industry revenue is generated from casino customers displaying problematic betting patterns. If individuals within this group, which is overrepresented for obesity, start taking weight-loss drugs, it could prove a setback for the gaming industry.
Kelley suggests that the uptake of GLP-1 could potentially create a 0-4% revenue obstacle for US commercial gaming. This particularly pertains to slot machines and regional gaming entities. The growing traction of weight-loss prescriptions, such as Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy, and Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro, among both doctors and patients, underpins this assumption.
Nonetheless, casino operators and slot machine manufacturers are not alone in being potentially adversely affected by the surge in weight-loss drug consumption. Traditional food and beverage producers and retailers, along with fast-food chains, are also considered vulnerable. The shift toward healthier eating habits by patients consuming weight-loss drugs, and inherent reduction in food intake, could potentially impact the revenues of retailers like Walmart and fast-food outlets like McDonald’s and Taco Bell.
However, this health-centric market disruption might not be entirely disadvantageous. Athletic apparel brands, such as Deckers and Lululemon, could reap benefits as lifestyle shifts toward healthier living motivate increased expenditure on exercise apparel and gear. Reflecting this change, Morgan Stanley projects that by 2030, the weight-loss drug market will surge to $77 billion in revenue.
The impact on casino stocks, however, remains a key concern, with Bank of America’s Kelley closely monitoring the performance of Boyd Gaming, Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, Penn Entertainment, and Red Rock Resorts amid the growing prominence of weight-loss drugs. While MGM and Caesars, as Las Vegas’ primary operators, could potentially reap benefits rewarded by increased travel due to lifestyle changes, regional operators may face challenges in adapting to this surge in healthier living.
All of Red Rock’s casinos are located in the Las Vegas Valley, while Boyd operates both within Vegas and in 17 establishments elsewhere. It is a microcosm, reflecting Nevada’s statewide health ranking of 33 according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as obtained by Ozmosi. Potentially then, this illustrating the contradictory impacts of this shifting health paradigm on different subsets of the gaming industry.