After a challenging and unprecedented year, the dark clouds are finally parting. This year has been unlike any
other and has changed all our lives so drastically. So many of us have been left to face difficult realities. But, there is hope for some normalcy returning soon and on that positive note, let me take you through the highlights of 2020.
The stormy clouds of the pandemic began brewing in the early months of 2020. They brought death, devastation, and disruption to so many lives, the world over. COVID-19 was our greatest equaliser, affecting countries espite how rich or poor, advanced or emerging.
On behalf of everyone at Delta Corp, I extend my heartfelt sympathies to all those whose lives have been impacted by the pandemic. I would also like to extend my eternal gratitude to the countless, unsung heroes - from doctors to nurses to emergency and essential service workers � who worked tirelessly and selflessly uring the lockdowns to ensure we could stay home safely. We, at Delta Corp, tried to do our part in alleviating the crisis through contributions to COVID relief funds and by partnering with NGOs to distribute food to those most gravely impacted.
In the wake of the pandemic, the financial year had a rough start. The strict lockdown measures enforced by the Government to ameliorate the effects of the virus had serious repercussions on business activity. Certain businesses, especially those that rely on tourism, such as travel, hospitality, and retail, saw more serious effects than others. As you well know, our core business is gaming and hospitality, which is strongly orrelated to travel and leisure. As our customers focussed their energy on staying uninfected - vacations, holidays and travel fell on the backburner.
For almost seven months of the financial year, all our casinos were entirely shut. Operations in Goa and Sikkim resumed only in the first week of November 2020. As per Government orders, our attendance was restricted to only 50% of the normal capacity, except in the case of Deltin Caravela Casino, which resumed operations in January 2021.
Our casino in Nepal did not resume operations till March 2021. Our hotel operations at Daman gradually resumed since Unlock 1 in June 2020. Since reopening, both the casino and hotel businesses have witnessed good revenue growth in the fourth quarter of the current financial year.
As you can well imagine, the prolonged closure of the casinos and the hotels and an overall decrease in tourism and travel, had an obvious and expected impact on the performance of the Company. Faced with a slowdown in usiness, we were forced to resort to several cost-cutting measures in an attempt to tide over the crisis. However, these measures were merely temporary and as our situation improved and unlocking began in October 2020, we were able to go back to near normal. We have a strong Balance Sheet and are a debt-free company. Despite a difficult year, we have continued our dividend payments to shareholders and also implemented a share buyback scheme.
As lockdowns were relaxed in the latter half of the year, we saw a massive surge of guests returning to our casinos and hotels and we welcomed them back with open arms and smiling faces. Our business bounced back beyond our expectations, almost returning to pre-pandemic levels. To see familiar faces in our hotel and casinos again has given us the confidence and conviction to believe that once the world normalises, we will be able to resume our operations in full swing again. We expect not just to survive this, but to grow and expand.
Vaccination drive throughout the country and worldwide have proved to be the light at the end of the tunnel. While we now tackle the second wave, we strongly believe that by the end of 2021, some normalcy should be restored. We acquired a 100 acres land parcel near Mopa Airport for an integrated resort, for which we have received n-principle approval from the Investment & Promotion Board. This resort is planned as a one-stop destination for all members of the family, with an electronic casino, shopping mall, gaming zones, and an array of other family recreational activities. Additionally, we plan on replacing one of our existing vessels with a newly-built and upgraded vessel, to cater to our future growth and expansion requirements.
Moreover, our business witnessed another exciting and interesting development this past year. The forced lockdown has given a fresh fillip to online gaming. Delta Corp was amongst the first movers in the emerging online gaming space, when we acquired India�s largest online poker site, �Adda52.com� in 2017. Since then, we have added Rummy to our suite of skill-based games. Rummy has been received well by gamers, despite being in the development phase, and I am confident that it will soon garner a strong presence in the online gaming space.
I am happy to inform you that our online gaming business performed strongly this year. To further strengthen our position in this space, we also launched �Faboom�, a multi gaming platform that offers fantasy and real-money gaming. There is a huge opportunity for growth and expansion in the online gaming space, especially given that people are spending more time at home and online. We are extremely confident that we will be able to replicate our
leadership in online poker to other online games.
Looking ahead, I am both cautious and confident. The resurgence of the second wave of COVID-19 in April 2021 has made me cautious, as it has shown us that we cannot afford to let our guard down. But the proven efficacy of vaccinations against this gruelling disease has given me hope to believe that we are on our way to recovery. Still, we must not be complacent.
We must be patient. We must be prudent. And slowly but surely, the clouds of this unexpected storm will clear, making way for a brighter and happier future for us all.
Stay vigilant and stay safe.