Great Canadian Works On Relaunch Strategy

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation focuses on employees and guests’ health and safety as the casino operator works to establish a strategy to allow a successful business relaunch when it is feasible to do so.

Headquartered in Ontario and operator of 25 gaming, entertainment and hospitality facilities throughout its home city, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the comments come as the company releases a first quarter financial report.

Sales in the quarter decreased by 10 percent to $273.7 million (2019: $302.8 million), led by enforced closures imposed on March 16, 2020 in response to the covid-19 pandemic, and partly offset by increased sales in the previous quarter.

Adjusted $103 m EBITDA reflects a six percent decrease from $109.3 m due to the aforementioned closures, in addition to which the company is said to have taken steps to substantially reduce its operating expenses to offset the decrease.

Net profits of shareholders from ongoing operations of $19.2 m declined in the first quarter by $11.8 m compared to the same time in 2019, largely due to the reduction in Adjusted EBITDA, increased company growth, restructuring and other expenditures mainly related to Pickering Casino Resort’s pre-opening costs.

In addition to the temporary suspension of operations that began in mid-March, on April 4, the Government of Ontario ordered the termination of all non-critical building projects, indefinitely freezing the majority of Ontario’s under progress capital projects.

Rod Baker, CEO of Great Canadian, explained: “The health and safety of our team members and guests is the priority and we are monitoring the pandemic closely, following the advisement provided by government authorities and workplace safety best practices in preparation of re-opening of our facilities.

“In addition to the temporary facility closures, the Government of Ontario’s mandated closure of all non-critical construction projects has resulted in an orderly wind-down of our active construction projects in Ontario, including the Pickering Casino Resort and Woodbine developments as well as facility expansion projects nearing completion in West GTA.

“The revised timelines for these developments will be reassessed once the timing of the government mandated closures are better understood and workplace conditions can proceed in a safe and appropriate manner.”

“We are working diligently on our reopening plans during this period and when the time is appropriate, we will be ready to relaunch our businesses. We expect the start-up and post relaunch ramp up periods of our gaming facilities and capital projects under development to be a challenging time for Great Canadian and we are very fortunate to have so many dedicated and hard-working team members getting us through this difficult closure period and into our reopening phase.”