Crown Resorts Turns a Corner, Doubles Down on Recovery

Crown Resorts has faced some of its most challenging years of operations, with the company buffeted by regulatory headwinds, lack of travelers and players, and stringent COVID-19 restrictions that kept many properties on shutdown or running skeletal services.

To Crown Resorts managing director and CEO Steve McCann, the worst may now be over with the company “turning a corner” and setting itself on the way to recovery. Speaking during an earnings call commenting on the company’s H1 2022 results, McCann did not hesitate to address the issues head-on.

He acknowledged that Crown Resorts still had a long way to go, citing AU$196.3 million ($141.75 million), which went up from AU$120 million ($86.65 million) from the previous period. The loss covers the six months ended December 31, 2021, and signals the lasting impact of the Australian casino giant’s challenges.

The company noted that its revenue was AU$778.6 million ($562.25 million) or 34% higher year-over-year. However, the closures of its flagship properties due to health mandates impacted the company’s potential. Crown Melbourne, Crown Perth, and Crown Sydney had to shutter operations, and the company then had to pay an extra AU$94.7 million ($68.39 million) to cover legal and consulting period.

It similarly had to pay another AU$20 million ($14.44 million) towards its class-action lawsuit brought on by shareholders who are seeking a total of AU$125 million ($90.27 million) in compensations.

Clean Slate as Regulatory Oversight Continues

McCann has remained relatively optimistic about the future. The nadir of the pandemic and the regulatory fallout have been contained, it seems. The executive confirmed that the company is working with the NSW and Victoria to ensure that all casino operations are conducted according to the best business practices. McCann said:

“Importantly, we continue to build momentum on our company-wide reforms, accelerating work on our remediation plan and making significant advances across multiple regulatory processes.”

Since he took the reins at Crown Resorts, McCann has been signaling the company’s remorse but also its determination to move past any lingering practices of the past. McCann noted that the Perth Casino Royal Commission hearings had been concluded, and Crown Resorts was now awaiting the report, its findings, and recommendations.

This has not stopped the company from working hard at Crown Sydney and playing to its business strengths, including a state-of-the-art dining and lodging experience. Crown Resorts is more than willing to work with independent monitors and the government to ensure that Crown may restore its reputation.

With a team of talented people and a global reputation for premium service, McCann has no doubt that the company will be climbing out of the pit before long. These results come on the tail of news that The Blackstone Group will be buying the company’s full shares for the sum total of AU$8.9 billion ($6.5 billion).  

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