Melco’s Cyprus Casinos to Close

Following stricter measures imposed by the government in response to rising coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, the Cyprus-based subsidiary of Melco Resorts & Entertainment will temporarily suspend its land-based operations. The decision comes as a government directive has forced hospitality venues, shopping malls, and churches to shut down as of the 11th December.

Cliff along the coast of the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus.

The Cyprus-based subsidiary of Melco Resorts & Entertainment has decided to temporarily suspend its land-based operations, following government directives aimed at combatting the increased spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on the island nation. ©dimitrisvetsikas1969/Pixabay

Remaining Satellite Locations Join Other Already Shuttered Casinos

As a result of more restrictive regulations imposed by the Cyprian government in the face of rising coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, gambling provider Cyprus Casinos has published a short notice on its website explaining its decision to temporarily suspend operations.

Cyprus Casinos, which is a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based Melco Resorts & Entertainment, has already previously shuttered operations at its one temporary casino location, C2 Limassol, as well as its satellite location C2 Paphos. However it will now add satellite locations C2 Nicosia and C2 Ayia Napa to its growing list of closed locations.

Cyprus Casinos is closely involved in the development of the €550 million City of Dreams Mediterranean resort. The provider had previously shuttered all four satellite casinos plus its temporary facility in Limassol for three months, between the 17th March and 13th June, in response to the onset of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Cyprus Reaches New Daily Record of New Coronavirus (Covid-19) Cases

Despite its relative isolation and low population density, Cyprus seems to not have been spared from the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The island nation’s health ministry announced 457 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, December 17th – a new daily record. 151 of these cases were positives obtained from rapid antigen tests performed in previous days, bringing the total number of cases up to 16,647 since the outbreak began in March 2020.

A batch of rapid tests account for an additional 240 positive, however these are pending confirmation via PCR tests and have therefore not been included in the daily record of new cases. 

The previous record for new daily coronavirus cases was 424 on the 11th December. However the latest record of 457 new cases arrives on the heels of medical experts expressing guarded optimism concerning a decline in numbers, particularly after the Cyprian government implemented tighter restrictions.

The Mediterranean island nation, housing 875,000 residents, has recorded new triple-digit cases every day since the 27th October 2020. The overall amount of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases on the island now stands at 16,190 since the outbreak began in March.

Closure of Cyprus Location Comes Amid Major Losses for Melco

The impacts of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic have spared few (if any) gambling operators across the globe — and Melco Resorts & Entertainment is certainly no exception. 

In September 2020, the group released its unaudited financial records for the second quarter of the year. There it announced a catastrophic 88% drop in revenue. The business prides itself in the development and operation of luxury gambling resorts in Asia and Europe.

Over the three months leading up to the 30th of June, 2020, the company reported operating revenues of merely $0.8 billion. This marks a whopping 88% decline when compared to the second quarter of 2019, during which $1.46 billion in revenue was generated. 

Contributing to the provider’s poor performance was, naturally, the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which has caused nationwide lockdowns and economic instability across the entire globe. Such disappointing results are thanks to sub-standard performances across virtually all gambling verticals that are offered by Melco Resorts & Entertainment.

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has impacted Melco specifically in the domain of tourism, leading to a far lower number of tourists visiting its resorts and, subsequently, lower revenue from the resorts themselves, as well as the casinos operated within them.

The company reported an operating loss of $370.8 million during Q2 2020. During the same period in 2020, Melco enjoyed a profit of $208.0 million.

When adjusting results before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s property earnings stood at just $156.3 million for the second quarter of 2020. In stark contrast, the EBITDA generated by properties owned by Melco during the same period in 2019 was an impressive $448.0 million.

Overall net losses for the group during Q2 2020 were reported at $368.1 million. It is therefore clear the severe extent the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is having on Melco. 

And with the recent announcement of further closures of the group’s subsidiary operations in Cyprus, the hardships Melo is currently experiencing thanks to the pandemic do not appear to be subsiding anytime soon.

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A blue wooden door secured shut thanks to a bolt and padlock.

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