Century Closing Poland Casinos for Three Weeks Following Coronavirus Restrictions
Century Casinos (NASDAQ:CNTY) is temporarily shuttering its eight gaming properties in Poland. That’s because of new quarantine protocols mandated by the government there to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The shutdowns go into effect today at 11:59 p.m local time and will run through Jan. 18. The Colorado-based gaming company said the closures will hamper its financial results into 2021.
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,” according to a statement issued by the operator.
Despite the announcement that the Poland closures will weigh on financials, shares of Century are higher in early trading, extending a run in which the regional gaming name is up nearly 16 percent in the fourth quarter.
Poland Important Part of Century Stock Thesis
Gamblers and investors alike aren’t going to confuse Poland with Las Vegas. But the Eastern European nation is an important part of how Century stock is viewed.
Earlier this year, the shares sagged when the operator said the pandemic was hindering revenue in Poland by 10 percent. Soon thereafter, the stock plunged 39 percent in a single day when Century said it was halting operations at its Polish venues. On May 18, the stock soared when the company confirmed the reopening of the eight casinos.
In the third quarter, the Poland operations accounted for four percent of Century’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), according to the company. Century holds a 66.6 percent stake in in Casinos Poland Ltd., the operator of its gaming properties in the country.
As of Dec. 27, Poland has 1.26 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 27,118 deaths. From the Dec. 13 through Dec. 26 period, the country’s case count was 127,257. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said 300,000 doses of a vaccine arrived in the country today and will immediately be distributed to 250 hospitals. That after 10,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine arrived last weekend.
Dealing with Other Restrictions
Poland isn’t the only market in which Century is grappling with another round of coronavirus restrictions. Canadian gaming properties are currently shuttered because of the pandemic.
The company runs two casinos in the western province of Alberta, a racino, and multiple pari-mutuel facilities in that region.
Two of Century’s most important US venues, a pair of namesake properties in the Colorado gaming towns of Central City and Cripple Creek, are also operating under state-mandated capacity restrictions.
The operator’s other domestic properties are the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in West Virginia, and a pair of eponymous casinos in Missouri.
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