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Great Canadian Gaming continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the company says it has “reason to remain optimistic despite the challenges.”
Visitation has been positive at properties that were permitted to reopen, despite the restricted conditions, according to the casino operator, who also expressed optimism about the ongoing vaccine roll-out in its latest quarterly financial statement.
The company’s revenue fell 81 percent from $273.8 million to $52.3 million in the quarter ending March 31, 2021, with a net loss of $44.2 million compared to a profit of $28.5 million in Q1 2020, and adjusted EBITDA down 80 percent to $20.5 million (2020: $103 million).
For a portion of the quarter, the company operated some gaming properties in the Ontario and Atlantic regions under restricted operating conditions, but due to localised health authority mandates, the majority of these were forced to close at different times.
Except for the Atlantic venues, Elements Casino Grand River and Shorelines Casino Belleville, all properties were closed at the end of the time. Following quarter-end, all non-critical construction activities on the company’s Ontario projects were halted, and the remaining Ontario and Casino Nova Scotia assets were mandated to shut down operations.
Adhering to directives and guidance
The company’s interim CEO, Terrance Doyle, explained: “Great Canadian remains committed to help contain the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to all directives and guidance issued by public health authorities in each jurisdiction that we operate, including suspending our operations when mandated to do so.
“Our ability to respond to local health mandates promptly and efficiently is a testament to the preparation and readiness of our team members. The company remains focused on reopening our gaming properties and ancillary amenities as appropriate, and our teams have demonstrated through our results thus far that we can operate while continuing to prioritize the health and safety of team members and guests.
“We have reason to remain optimistic, despite the challenges we have faced since the start of the pandemic. For our properties that were allowed to reopen, we have observed encouraging visitation levels despite operating under restricted conditions.
“Additionally, we are encouraged by the continued progress of the mass vaccination program across Canada, as well as the initial results of the wider reopening of other markets where vaccination levels are higher.”
Furthermore, the company offers an update on its imminent buyout, which was approved under the Investment Canada Act by Raptor Acquisition Corp, an affiliate of funds controlled by Apollo Global Management affiliates. The project is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020.
“Significant progress has been made in the closing of the arrangement with Apollo Funds, as demonstrated by the recent Investment Canada Act approval,” added Doyle.
“We believe this transaction is beneficial for our shareholders, our team members, our guests, and other stakeholders, and we are working diligently to satisfy all remaining closing conditions, including required regulatory approvals.”