After Covid’s Blizzard of Oz, Uneasy Lies The Crown

Crown Resorts Limited, Australia’s biggest gambling and resorts entertainment group, has reported a 31 per cent, year-on-year, decline in revenue for its latest full-year financials, ending June 30.

With the land-based heavy-hitters making a loss of AU$261.6 million (£139.3m/US$191.9m/€162.2m), their revenue fell to AU$1.5 billion (£798m/US$1.1bn/€930m), while EBITDA plunged like a breaker, by almost 80 per cent, to AU$114.1 million (£60.7m/US$83.7m/€70.7m).

No guesses as to the causes for the losses: with Australia—along with its Kiwi neighbours—adopting perhaps the most draconian anti-Covid-19 isolation policies on the planet — while imposing blanket lock-downs that shuttered casinos and stopped the gaming wheels turning.

Resort Limited’s flagship Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth casinos bore the brunt of their country’s implacable emergency response.

“2021 has been a challenging year for Crown, with intense regulatory scrutiny and unprecedented impacts on business operations from the pandemic,” stressed Jane Halton, Crown’s interim Chairman.

“[We are] supportive of the measures taken by State and Federal Governments in response to Covid-19. Our priority [is] the health and safety of our employees, customers and the community.”

Added the company’s CFO Alan McGregor: “Crown’s full-year results reflect the severe impact on [our] operations from the pandemic.

“Crown Melbourne’s gaming operations were closed for a large part of the financial year and, when open, gaming facilities were subject to ongoing operating restrictions.

“[Although] Crown Perth delivered strong performance during the financial year, Crown Sydney delivered an overall operating loss for the financial year [because of] the impact of Covid-19 related restrictions, border closures and the limited scale of operations.”

With Covid-19 unrelenting Down Under, Crown’s land-based problems look set to persist.

A big investment in iGaming–whisper it, perhaps into Crown’s royal ear–could solve their Ozzie gambling conundrum.

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