Crown Resorts falls to US$191 million loss in FY21 on Melbourne, Sydney casino closures

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Crown Melbourne

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Troubled Australian casino giant Crown Resorts has reported a loss of AU$261.6 million (U$191.2 million) in the 12 months to 30 June 2021, heavily impacted by COVID-induced property closures and the fallout from regulatory inquiries across three states.

Crown saw its revenue plummet 31.3% year-on-year to AU$1.54 billion (U$1.13 billion) in FY21, with limited operations at both Crown Melbourne and Crown Sydney seeing EBITDA fall 77.4% to AU$114.1 million (U$83.4 million).

Crown Melbourne, the companys long-time flagship, was closed for 160 days of the financial year due to multiple COVID-19 lockdowns and faced capacity restrictions for most days it was open. As a result, revenue fell 64.0% to AU$578.7 million (U$420.9 million) of which the main gaming floor contributed AU$406.9 million (U$297.4 million), down 54.3% year-on-year.

VIP play, which was largely the focus of the recent Royal Commission into Crown Melbournes suitability to retain its casino license, contributed just AU$600,000 (U$439,000) compared with AU$352.3 million (U$257.6 million) a year earlier. Crown put an end to its Asian junket program in November 2020.

Further north, negotiations with the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority are continuing after Crown was found unsuitable in February to launch casino operations at its new AU$2.2 billion Crown Sydney development.

Revenue from non-gaming operations, which opened on 28 December 2020, totaled AU$68.6 million (U$50.2 million) although reported EBITDA was AU$123 million (U$89.9 million) thanks to profit from the sale of Crown Sydney apartments.

The gaming areas are ready for opening on a staged basis, pending a determination of suitability by the casinos regulator, Crown said. Employees recruited to work in gaming areas continued to develop their skills and test a number of systems throughout the year to ensure Crown Sydney is ready ahead of opening of gaming.

Crown Perth, which was closed for just 27 days throughout the year, was the one property to record a year-on-year increase with revenue up 21.9% to AU$743.1 million (U$543.3 million) and EBITDA rising 46.3% to AU$254.4 million (U$186.0 million). With VIP contributing just AU$700,000 (U$512,000), it was again the domestic market driving revenue with AU$478.3 million (U$349.7 million) from the main gaming floor.

Crowns online gaming arm Crown Digital, comprising betting exchange Betfair Australasia and social gaming business DGN Games, grew 8.5% to AU$147 million (U$107.5 million).

The company said it would not declare a final dividend for FY21.