Century Casinos Closing Canada Venues Due to COVID Quarantine

Posted on: December 9, 2020, 08:58h. 

Last updated on: December 9, 2020, 08:58h.

Century Casinos (NASDAQ:CNTY) said today it’s temporarily closing its Canadian gaming properties just before midnight Saturday, Dec. 12 to comply with new coronavirus quarantine mandates issued by the Alberta provincial government.

Century Canada Closure
Century Mile Racetrack near Edmonton. The operator is closing its Canadian gaming venues due to coronavirus quarantine protocols. (Image: Globe and Mail)

The Colorado-based regional gaming company operates two casinos near Edmonton, a pair of pari-mutuel facilities in that area and a network of off-track betting sites throughout Alberta. All of those venues bear the Century name. In August, the firm announced the sale of its namesake property in Calgary for $7.5 million.

Century Casinos announced today that it will temporarily close its Canadian casinos and racetracks at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, December 12, 2020 to comply with quarantines issued by the Alberta government to contain the spread of COVID-19. The government mandate is expected to be reassessed in four weeks,” according to a statement issued by the company.

As of Dec. 8, Alberta had 72,028 coronavirus cases and 640 deaths, the third-highest totals among the Canadian provinces, trailing only Ontario and Quebec. Like so many US states, Alberta’s COVID-19 tally is trending in the wrong direction. On Tuesday, its case count was nearly 6,000 compared with 975 on Oct. 12.

Financial Impact

Although it has no assets in Las Vegas or other destination markets and it was quick to point as much during the first wave of COVID-19 cases earlier this year, Century was savagely repudiated by investors in March as its shares slumped from around $9 to $1.01 in a matter of weeks.

The stock subsequently rallied, helped by the reopening of eight Polish casinos in which Century owns stakes because those venues reopened in mid-May prior to many US venues doing so. However, the company is forecasting negative effects attributable to the pandemic, a trend that could last awhile.

“The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve rapidly, and it currently appears that due to the pandemic’s current scope it will adversely impact the Company at least through the first half of 2021,” said the operator.

Century did not make specific comments regarding how earnings and revenue will be affected, if at all. The stock is higher by 24.54 percent over the past month and 15.25 percent over the past week.

US Exposure

In the US, Century owns two eponymous casinos in its home state of Colorado, a Missouri venue and the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in New Cumberland, WV.

Last month, officials in the Centennial State ordered table games shut down amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. Policymakers in Teller County, which includes Cripple Creek, are mulling another full scale closure of gaming properties in an effort to combat the pandemic.

Missouri currently doesn’t have a mask mandate and its casinos are open. West Virginia is requiring all indoor businesses to order patrons to wear masks unless they are drinking or eating.

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