Malaysian firm Genting Casino is reportedly going to keep three of its UK casinos closed permanently when COVID-19 operating restrictions. It is expected to announce redundancies across its remaining 29 casinos across the UK, according to union leaders.
The casinos in question are those in Torquay, Bristol and Margate. The operator has detailed its plans to its workforce as it looks to combat loss of revenues due to closures during the coronavirus lockdown.
Genting Chief Executive Paul Willcock said in a letter: “The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges. This has had a huge financial impact on our business and caused significant uncertainty for the foreseeable future. I am therefore forced to contemplate some very difficult options to ensure survival.”
GMB, the union for leisure and hospitality workers, believes the three closures are ‘just the start’ for the UK’s leisure and hospitality sector.
Matt Roberts, GMB Union South West regional organiser, said: “GMB will explore every avenue with Gentings 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.
He added: “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.”