Genting Casino considers permanent closures

Genting Casino has begun consulting on job losses.
Genting Casino has begun consulting on job losses.

Genting is said to be consulting on the permanent closure of three casinos and job cuts at others. 

UK.- As UK casinos receive the green light to reopen from July 4, operator Genting Casino is reportedly considering permanently closing at least three of its 29 sites and cutting jobs at others.

Leaders at the GMB trade union say the company has been consulting with the union and has written to staff about potential job losses across its sites.

In a letter to staff published by the local press, Genting Casino Chief Executive, Paul Willcock, wrote that the Covid-19 pandemic had caused a “huge financial impact on our business and…significant uncertainty for the foreseeable future”.

He added: “I am therefore forced to contemplate some very difficult options to ensure survival.”

The three casinos reportedly being considered for permanent closure are located in Torquay, Bristol and Margate. 

All casinos have been closed since March 23, with the majority of Genting’s staff of around 4,000 furloughed.

Casinos in England have the green light to reopen on July 4 with distancing requirements but it is thought many will remain closed for longer until there is a prospect of foreign players returning after travel restrictions are eased.

It is feared that limits in capacity and the lack of foreign players mean that even after reopening casinos will be a long way from being able to recover losses suffered during the lockdown. 

Matt Roberts, GMB South West Regional Organiser, said: “GMB will explore every avenue with Genting to try and keep these jobs, no matter how hopeless the situation in the sector may appear.

“The casinos, like other leisure venues, have done their duty and complied with the lockdown, following the Prime Minister’s instructions and utilising the government’s furlough scheme.

“As the scheme ends, GMB fears this is just the beginning of widespread job losses across the sector that will hit local communities hard.

“If the government wants this country to retain a leisure and hospitality industry, we need to see support measures continue, in some form, that we can gradually wean the businesses off as the situation hopefully improves over the next year or so. Otherwise, there will be very little hospitality and leisure businesses left for the public to go back to.”

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