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Monte Carlo Casino operator SBM sees gaming revenue decline 16.1% in Q3

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Monte Carlo Casino and Betclic Everest owner Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) saw gaming revenue fall 16.1% year-on-year in the three months ended 31 December 2020, the third quarter of its 2020-21 fiscal year, despite quarter-on-quarter improvement.

Gaming revenue for the third quarter continued to recover from a low point of €9.6m (£8.5m/$11.7m) for the first quarter, hitting €45.9m. However, this was still down 16.1% year-on-year.

“This decrease remains small given the public health situation,” the SBM group said. “Table gaming revenue actually benefited from particularly favourable luck during the month of December.”

Total revenue, meanwhile, came to €95.8m, down 23.0%. This decline was largely due to low hotel revenue at €23.5m, down 48.5% year-on-year.

Lease revenue for various shop and office properties owned by SBM, however, was up 9.2% at €27.2m, while other revenue fell 61.5% to €735,000. This, the Société said, “confirms the validity of the diversification strategy SBM has engaged in over the last several years”.

For the year so far, gaming has brought in €94.0m, down 54.3%. Overall revenue, meanwhile, declined 50.3% to €264.5m.

The group noted that the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is still having a “strong impact” on its ability to operate, and while Monaco did not lock down during the quarter, opening hours for restaurants and casinos were reduced.

Looking forward, the group said it expects “a sharply deteriorated financial performance” for the full year. Last year, the group announced a restructuring plan that would include voluntary departure for employees aged over 57 years and layoffs in departments that need to cut further costs.

The voluntary departure plan saw 164 employees opt to leave. This larger-than-expected takeup means SBM now expects to make less layoffs than the anticipated 161.

The group has also issued short-term negotiable debt securities, with plans to raise €150m. So far, it has raised €65m through these securities, while the Monegasque government has committed to buy up to €120m worth of securities if there is no other interest.

Today, Betclic Everest subsidiary Bet-at-Home announced that it had raised its earnings guidance for 2020 to €30.9m, after a “supremely positive” fourth quarter

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