Casino operators outline Covid-19 survival plans as Crown stands down 11,500 employees

Australia’s largest casino operators have laid out their strategy to see them through the coronavirus lockdowns.

Crown Resorts has stood down more than 11,500 employees from its Melbourne and Perth casinos, which equates to 95 per cent of its workforce.

Crown’s Melbourne casino employs over 8700 people making it the state’s largest single-site private sector employer.

Crown has also lined up facilities with its banks for a total of $560 million and had agreed terms with the three banks funding the construction of its Barangaroo project to allow building to continue.

Crown is currently halfway through the construction of its $2.2 billion casino and hotel complex at Barangaroo and says it will continue as planned.

“Crown intends to continue construction of the Crown Sydney project as planned and, absent any further delays arising from the impact of Covid-19, remains on track for completion of the Crown Sydney hotel resort by the end of the year,” Crown said in the statement to the ASX

“Currently, there are over 1300 people employed on the construction of Crown Sydney, which is expected to be maintained until completion.

“In the lead-up to the full opening of Crown Sydney, Crown expects to recruit over 2,000 people to work in the hotel resort.”

Crown’s chief executive Ken Barton and the board have also taken 20 per cent cuts to their remuneration.

The Star announced it had executed an additional debt-funding facility with existing relationship banks for $200 million to strengthen its liquidity position.

The group has stood down about 8500 staff and terminated casuals and contractors, while chief executive Matt Bekier has taken a 40 per cent pay cut and directors had cut their fees by 50 per cent.