Casinos Austria to carry out major restructuring

The group aims to reduce material and personnel costs.
The group aims to reduce material and personnel costs.

Jobs will go as the group aims to reduce costs by €40m in “the largest reorganisation in the history of the company”.

Austria.- Casinos Austria’s supervisory board has approved the group’s business management team’s proposal for a major restructuring. 

It is expected that a significant number of jobs will be cut and the average salary reduced as the group aims to save more than €40million through reducing material and personnel costs. 

All 12 casinos will be maintained, and each venue will be given greater autonomy to create a “lean, independent” structure. 

Dubbed ReFIT, the restructuring will be the “the largest reorganisation in the history of the company” according to Chief Executive Bettina Glatz-Kremsner and will “secure Casinos Austria’s position as the number one Austrian gaming provider in the long term”.

She said the company would secure as many jobs as possible at each location, but Austria’s Kurier newspaper believes up to 500 jobs will go. The company has confirmed the average salary will fall.

The company has been heavily affected by Covid-19 but also by Austria’s smoking ban introduced last November.

Glatz-Kremsner said: “Like many other companies, Casinos Austria was massively affected by the Coronavirus crisis, which made it necessary for the management, supervisory board and owners to act quickly and responsibly; particularly because the expected consequences of Covid-19 will also present us with great difficulties in the near future.

“But even before the Coronavirus crisis, there was a clear need for action due to changing conditions in our casinos and also at our headquarters, not least because of the smoking ban.”

Casinos Austria is now majority owned by the Czech Republic’s Sazka Group, which increased its stake to 55.48 per cent last month, and is jointly managed by state investment body Österreichische Beteiligungs (ÖBAG).

Sazka Chief Executive, Robert Chvatal, said: “It’s not about politics or the nationality of the shareholders, and it’s not about maximising profits. Restructuring is about avoiding future losses. It’s about rescuing a company that finds itself in an extraordinarily difficult situation due to its structure and a changing world.

“We do not want to sell casinos, but we want to make them fit for the future. We support the ReFIT recommendation from the team of experts led by Bettina Glatz-Kremsner, who worked hard on this plan for several weeks.”

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