- Evergreen Gaming Corporation (TSXV:TNA) has been forced to close a number of Washington-based casinos, after the state implemented crisis regulations
- The regulations are aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state
- Due to the shutdown, Evergreen is laying off the majority of its casino staff
- The company hopes to re-open in three weeks but could extend if the COVID-19 crisis worsens.
- Evergreen Gaming Corp (TNA) is up 4 per cent, with shares trading for C$0.26 and a market cap of $32.4 million
Evergreen Gaming Corporation (TSXV:TNA) will close a number of its US casinos, due to new state regulations to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Washington have risen over 1,000 in the last few days, prompting the state government to take more drastic isolation measures.
In a lengthy address to shareholders, Leonard Libin, Chairman of Evergreen’s board, outlined the company’s plans moving forward.
Leonard believes that, despite the closures the company is in a strong financial position to weather the crisis.
“Evergreen is very fortunate to find itself in a strong cash position. As a result, the Company believes it is well situated to survive a long and protracted event, should that be necessary,” he said.
However, the closures will dramatically affect the company’s employees. Leonard went on to say that the company is unable to avoid the laying off of the vast majority of its staff.
The company believes these former employees will likely need to seek government assistance to maintain a living wage.
Former employees will be entitled to $25 worth of food a day from the casino’s restaurant. This initiative is intended to limit the cash shortfall between a former employee being laid off and qualifying for government assistance.
Evergreen hopes to resume operations at its casinos in the next two or three weeks. If operations can resume this quickly, Evergreen will implement new safety measures.
As a result, patron numbers will be capped and people will be spaced out to prevent crowding and limit virus transmission.
The company is using this inactive period to fully clean and sanitise its four Washington-based locations.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began to hit the market, Evergreen’s share price has dropped by almost 50 per cent.
Despite the company’s plans, Leonard closed out his shareholder address with a point of caution.
“It is very important to understand that because all of this is new to all of us, everything is subject to change,” he said.
Evergreen Gaming Corp (TNA) is up 4 per cent, with shares trading for C$0.26 at 3.53pm EST.