Big job cuts at Genting despite plans to reopen

As well as ceasing all live poker activity in the United Kingdom, Genting has announced 1,642 employees face losing their jobs despite plans to reopen venues.

The GMB union has also confirmed the group’s decision to close three of its venues.

Genting says the coronavirus lockdown has forced it to make “heartbreaking decisions” about the future of its business.

Staff at risk of losing their jobs remain on furlough, with the company stating it hopes to bring them back “at a later stage”.

The three casinos to close are in Torquay, Bristol and Margate, while thousands more jobs will be lost across all the business’ 32 venues.

The workers are being represented by GMB, the union for leisure and hospitality workers, which has warned plans to close the three casinos are “just the start” for the nation’s leisure and hospitality sector, which is at breaking point.

Genting has been consulting nationally with the GMB over the potential reductions, with workers at the firms’ sites being informed of the proposals in a letter from chief executive Paul Willcock.

In the statement to employees, Willcock said the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic had caused unprecedented challenges, while adding: “I am therefore forced to contemplate some very difficult options to ensure survival.”

Poker News reported that Genting was not reopening its live poker operations last month, with Genting Resorts World Casino in Birmingham losing 98 employees and between 20 and 50 jobs to be lost at every Genting casino around the United Kingdom.

The news of the cessation of live poker operations came less than a week after Genting announced the pending closure of the three casinos in Torquay, Bristol and Margate.

The group closed its online poker arm, which ran on the iPoker network, several years ago which had a profound effect on the live Genting Poker Series, which has now run its course.

The long-running series was launched in 2012 and was extremely popular in its infancy but the closure of online operations hit the series badly, with entry numbers down because players could no longer qualify online or play in an online first day.

Lower attendances and a restructuring of the GPS resulted in smaller buy-in stops being scheduled and the final GPS event was an £80 buy-in held at the Genting Club Stoke in February that attracted 397 entrants and awarded £26,966, with winner Teodor Celichkov scooping £5,946 for his efforts.

Check out the Genting Poker Series website