Aquis Entertainment, the owner and operator of Casino Canberra in Australia’s capital city, reported widened losses of AU$2.6 million for the six months to 30 June 2019, 18.4% more than in the same period last year.
A combination of lower revenues and higher operating costs were behind the loss, with revenue down 2.7% year-on-year to around AU$12 million against expenses of AU$14.5 million.
Aquis remains locked in long-standing negotiations with the ACT Government over a proposed AU$330 million redevelopment of Casino Canberra which would include an amendment to laws prohibiting the operation of slot machines in the casino. At present, poker machines in the nation’s capital are only allowed in licensed clubs.
However, Aquis’ original plan to operate 500 slot machines was rejected in December and it has so far baulked at the government’s reduced offer of 200 slot machines and 60 EGMs.
In announcing its 1H19 results, Aquis said it was advancing its strategy to improve the underperforming property by focusing on marketing activities and implementing cost controls as well as “the ongoing liaison with the ACT Government in relation to redevelopment options and associated legislative conditions.”
The company added that it expects positive EBITDA and cash flow for the full year in 2019, despite EBITDA falling by 176.2% in the first half to AU$557,242.