The unprecedented situation has taken its toll on yet another gaming corporation in Canada. Most recently SaskGaming reported its first-ever financial losses amounting to CA$13,400,000 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year after 25 years of operations. The losses can be explained by the closure of business properties in the province as the company’s casinos were required to cease operations.
For the fiscal year of 2020-2021, the gaming corporation’s Casino Regina and Casino Moose Jaw were closed down for a total of seven months. After first closing down in March 2020, the properties were allowed to reopen in July, however, they operated in reduced capacity making it difficult for the corporation to quickly accumulate revenue.
Massive Revenue Drop
On this Monday, SaskGaming published its annual financial report for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. According to this, the company has endured losses in the amount of CA$13,400,000. President and CEO of the gaming firm, Susan Flett stated that the last year’s results were something that the company has never experienced since its 25 years history in the gaming industry.
Due to the closure of many businesses across the province, the company had to temporarily lay off 570 permanent employees. When the company was allowed to reopen properties in July only 318 returned to work at Casino Regina and 69 at Casino Moose Jaw. Also, properties operated in a reduced guest capacity, with limited working hours and food and drinks amenities.
Despite the rough start of the fiscal year, the gaming company managed to improve its results in the second quarter of the year. However, later in December, a second lockdown closed down properties once again. Since then, casinos have remained closed down until the end of the fiscal year in April. For the fiscal year revenue hit CA$30.9 million, which fades away to the previous year’s CA$114.1 million.
In normal circumstances, the gaming operator pays 50% of its net income to the province’s general revenue fund, and 80% of the remaining is channeled into its holding company Crown Investments Corporation. However, due to the lack of funds, the company did not honor its payments to the funds, and instead, the corporation received CA$4 million from its holding company.
All gaming properties in Saskatchewan were required to close down by the provincial authorities in December 2021, as a way of containing the unprecedented situation. And due to the casino closure, 238 unionized and 89 non-unionized workers from Casinos Regina and Moose Jaw were temporarily laid off, thus leaving them at home. Initially, the suspension was on course to be only 28, however, due to complications, it stretched out to June this year.
Allowed to Reopen
Recently, gaming corporations in Saskatchewan received the go-ahead from the provincial government to restart casinos in June. The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority was quick to announce that starting from June 20, its seven gaming properties in the province will relaunch operations. Bear Claw Casino and Hotel, Living Sky Casino, Painted Hand Casino, Gold Eagle Casino, Gold Horse Casino, Dakota Dunes Casino Northern Lights Casino, now welcome patrons back.
Source: Quon, Alexander “SaskGaming posts financial loss for the first time in 25 years of operations due to COVID-19”, CBC, July 5, 2021