Ed Pitoniak, CEO of VICI Properties, Inc. (NYSE: VICI), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITweek: 2023 Investor Conference, held in New York June 6-8.
Pitoniak discussed the new FTSE Nareit Equity Gaming index and how VICI has been moved from the specialty sector over to the new gaming sector.
“It will obviously take investors a bit of time to find us in this new sector, but hopefully it will put focus on the sector, put focus on our names, and continue to add to our ownership from both passive funds and active funds,” he said.
He added that inclusion in indices is a very important part of how a company develops its shareholder base today. He said that it was “utterly transformative” for the company when VICI was included in the S&P 500 in June 2022.
Pitoniak noted that there were very few companies that recovered from the pandemic “more quickly and dynamically” than some of VICI’s casino operators, including MGM, Caesars, The Venetian, and Hard Rock.
“Las Vegas, I think it’s safe to say, is the busiest place on earth right now,” he said. “And thus, we are so glad to own 10 assets on the Strip. We’re the largest real estate owner on the Strip, and it is a great place to be right now.”
Turning to the golf courses portion of VICI’s portfolio, Pitoniak said the REIT’s growth in the sport will likely take place through its partnership with Cabot, a developer and operator of luxury golf destinations, including plans in Florida, Saint Lucia, and the Scottish Highlands.
“We believe their particular category of golf is going to have tremendous tailwinds behind it for the next couple decades,” he said.