Posted on: January 17, 2021, 12:40h.
Last updated on: January 17, 2021, 02:12h.
Less than three weeks after announcing another temporary closure of its Poland gaming venues, Century Casinos said those properties will remain closed through Jan. 31.
Late last month, the Colorado-based gaming company said it was shuttering its casinos in Poland to comply with government-ordered coronavirus protocols. At that time, the plan was to reopen the properties on Jan. 18.
The Polish casinos would remain closed through January 31, 2021, subject to potential extensions, to comply with extended quarantines issued by the Polish government to contain the spread of COVID-19,” according to a statement issued by the operator.
Century owns a a 66.6 percent stake in in Casinos Poland Ltd., the operator of its eight gaming properties in the country.
Less than two weeks before announcing the Poland shutdown, the company temporarily closed its Canadian casinos and racetracks on Dec. 12 at the behest of the Alberta provincial government. That scenario was supposed to be reassessed in four weeks, but Century hasn’t provided an update to that effect.
Financial Pinch, But Shares Climbing
Poland usually isn’t thought of as a marquee gaming market. But the eight casinos are important contributors to Century’s overall financial picture.
In the September quarter, those venues contributed four percent of the operator’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). As such, the company is warning that the COVID-19 pandemic will plague financial results through the first half of this year.
“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.
That’s in line with commentary offered up by the company last month, but the stock remains favored by Wall Street analysts. Additionally, the shares aren’t being bothered by the extended Poland shutdown. Last week, Century stock gained 11.28 percent, and is higher by 14.24 percent year-to-date, making it one of the best-performing gaming equities to start 2021.
Defraying Poland Pressure
Century has levers to pull to ease the sting of the extended Poland shutdown. For example, the company reached a December agreement with Rush Street Interactive (RSI) to launch iGaming in West Virginia. Century runs Mountaineer Park in New Cumberland. RSI is expected to launch in the Mountaineer State this spring.
In addition to Mountaineer and its two namesake properties in Colorado, Century operates the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau and Lady Luck Casino, both in Missouri. Those are the company’s domestic venues.
With a management team heralded for smart acquisitions and the pace of gaming industry consolidation expected to be busy this year, Wall Street is wagering Century will be an active buyer of smaller regional assets in the second half of the year.