Century Casinos focusing on Colorado sports betting, reopening properties Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · May 20, 2020 at 3:06 pm As with the rest of the gaming operating sector, Colorado-based Century Casinos focused on life post-COVID-19 rather than first-quarter results Wednesday. The company, which operates casino and racetracks under the Century brand in Colorado, Missouri, and West Virginia, and internationally in Canada and Poland, said in a statement it hopes to reopen properties – closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic – in a phased approach over the next few months. Company executives said Century will follow state guidelines, which are expected to include limited hours, reduced capacity, use personal protective equipment, and other social distancing guidelines. “We look forward to reopening our properties, and we plan to meet or exceed all safety requirements set forth by health officials,” co-CEOs Erwin Haitzmann and Peter Hoetzinger said in a statement. Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Chad Beynon said with Century’s customer base “predominately local” in most markets, “management believes this could lead to faster recovery times than for casinos in destination markets.” Century said it had $50 million in cash on its balance sheet and was burning $8 million a month during the casino closures. Century executives said it would expect to spend $20 million to fully launch its casino operations. The company recently reopened its casinos in Poland. Stifel Financial gaming analyst Brad Boyer was concerned Century’s liquidity position “is somewhat stretched relative to those of its peers.” He said Century could endure a “zero revenue environment” until August. “We believe the company has options, such as renegotiating its lease obligations, that could provide additional runway in a long-term shutdown scenario,” Boyer said in a note to investors. “All told, we like the convenience-oriented nature of Century’s properties and expect the business to prove resilient on the other side of COVID.” On Tuesday, Century and European-based sports betting operator bet365 announced a partnership covering the company’s casinos in Colorado. The state launched legal sports betting this month. bet365 said would file for licensing in Colorado and launch an online betting site and mobile operation. Century operates the Century Casino & Hotels in Cripple Creek and Central City and has multiple online sports betting sites, often referred to as skins. In February, Century and Las Vegas-based Circa Sports signed an online and mobile sports agreement for Century Casino Cripple Creek During the quarter that ended March 31, Century reported a loss of $45.9 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier. Net operating revenue increased 92% to $87.7 million, due primarily to completing its acquisition of Isle Casino Cape Girardeau and Lady Luck Casino Caruthersville in Missouri and Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in West Virginia in partnership with real estate investment trust VICI Properties. Reno-based Eldorado Resorts sold the properties. Century acquired the operations for approximately $107 million and VICI acquired the land and real estate for approximately $278 million. Century is operating the casinos under a long-term lease. “Through the end of February, we were encouraged by the strength of our operations and the significant growth in net operating revenue and adjusted (cash flow) driven in part by our recent acquisition of properties in Missouri and West Virginia,” Haitzmann and Hoetzinger said. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.