Another Canadian gaming corporation has affected as a result of the unprecedented situation. After 25 years of operations, SaskGaming recently reported its first-ever financial losses of CA$13,400,000 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The losses might be linked to the company’s casinos being forced to close due to the closure of business properties in the province.

The gaming corporation’s Casino Regina and Casino Moose Jaw were closed for a total of seven months during the fiscal year 2020-2021. The properties were allowed to reopen in July after first closing in March 2020, but at a reduced capacity, making it difficult for the corporation to quickly accumulate revenue.

Massive Revenue Drop

SaskGaming released its annual financial report for the fiscal year 2020-2021 on Monday. According to this, the company has endured losses in the amount of CA$13,400,000.  Susan Flett, the company’s president and CEO, stated that the results of the previous year were unprecedented in the company’s 25-year history in the gaming industry.

The company had to lay off 570 permanent employees due to the closure of many businesses across the province. Only 318 workers returned to work at Casino Regina and 69 at Casino Moose Jaw after the company was given permission to reopen the properties in July. Also, properties operated in a reduced guest capacity, with limited working hours and food and drinks amenities.

Despite a difficult start of the fiscal year, the gaming company improved its performance in the second quarter. Later in December, however, a second lockdown forced the closure of properties once more. Casinos have been closed since then the end of the fiscal year in April.  Revenues for the fiscal year was CA$30.9 million, down from CA$114.1 million the previous year.

Under normal circumstances, the gaming operator pays 50% of its net profits to the province’s general revenue fund, with the remaining 80% going to Crown Investments Corporation, its holding company. The company, however, did not honor its payments to the funds due to a lack of funds, and instead got CA$4 million from its holding company.

December Closure

The provincial authorities ordered all gaming properties in Saskatchewan to close operations in December 2021 as a way to deal with the unprecedented situation. In addition, 238 unionized and 89 non-unionized staff from Casinos Regina and Moose Jaw were temporarily laid off as a result of the casino closure, leaving them at home. The suspension was supposed to last only 28 days, but due to problems, it was extended to June of this year.

Allowed to Reopen

Saskatchewan’s gaming corporations have received approval from the provincial government to reopen casinos in June. The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority was quick to announce that its seven gaming properties in the province will reopen on June 20. Patrons can now return to Bear Claw Casino and Hotel, Living Sky Casino, Painted Hand Casino, Gold Eagle Casino, Gold Horse Casino, Dakota Dunes Casino, and Northern Lights Casino.