SaskGaming posted a loss of CAD13.4m ($10.7m) for the 2020- 21 fiscal year, marking the first time Saskatchewan’s public casino operator has lost money in its 25-year history.
“This reporting year was unlike anything SaskGaming has experienced in 25 years of operation,” SaskGaming president and CEO Susan Flett.
Casino Regina and Casino Moose Jaw were forced to close for nearly seven months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The closures also meant that approximately 570 permanent employees were temporarily laid off.
The properties were cleared to reopen in July 2020 with limited capacity, 318 people at Casino Regina and 69 at Casino Moose Jaw. However, the capacity limits combined with other restrictions such as reduced food and beverage services, reduced hours and increased cleaning of high touch surfaces, impacted on revenue.
Despite the challenges, the company was able to to earn a profit during Q2 2020. But a spike in COVID-19 cases in November saw further restrictions before a second lockdown came into effect in December, with the properties remaining closed for the rest of the fiscal year.
As a result, revenue fell to just CAD30.9m ($24.6m) in 2020-21, compared to CAD114.1m ($91m) for the prior financial year.