Casino entertainment heavyweight Bally's Corporation announced in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission its decision to cut 15% of the workforce from its North America interactive division as part of a restructuring plan for the business segment. According to the company, the reduction in staff headcount for the division would cost between $10 million and $15 million in cash severance payments, with the redundancies to take place during the first quarter.
The business said that the layoffs would help it reduce operating costs and continue its commitment to achieving profitable operations in its North American interactive segment. According to the announcement, the elimination of the positions within the vertical is subject to local law and consultation requirements in certain countries, as well as the operator’s business needs.
In a letter to Bally's Interactive employees, chief executive Lee Fenton said it was a "difficult decision" to reduce the company's workforce but that the move would help the business become "stronger and fitter" for the future.
"We’ve reflected hard as a business to come to this conclusion," Fenton said. "Everyone put in so much effort last year, and I am proud of what we achieved together. However, we didn't manage to achieve everything we had hoped for."
"Our mature businesses continue to grow but are facing macro uncertainties. Our North American business remains an investment market, where the returns will be reaped but we can now see that this will take some time to come to fruition, so we need to manage our cost base appropriately," the executive stated.
In his letter, the CEO explained that while the Covid-19 pandemic had a positive impact on Bally’s Interactive, this led to the business hiring staff at "full pelt," which he said led to over-hiring in some areas, which he accepted full responsibility for.
"We have been considering how we rescope our roadmaps to ensure they are right-sized," Fenton noted. "This is an opportunity to reset the business, so let’s ensure that these changes, whilst made with an extremely heavy heart, put us on an even stronger footing, where we can operate with pace, agility, and focus."
Those affected by the cutoffs will be contacted in the coming days. Fenton said Bally's would fully support these individuals with fair terms and treatment, and that the company "will offer more than is required in all the markets we operate in."
"I truly believe we will emerge stronger in many ways; we would not be pursuing this unless this was our belief," Fenton concluded in his letter. "The employees being affected aren’t just colleagues, they’re friends. Please rally around them and let’s support each other through these changes."
The announcement comes after Fenton in November said Bally’s would be "evaluating" its money-losing North American businesses as the company focuses on a strict path to profitability. At the time, he said that the company's plans had entered a new phase where loss-making assets would be examined to ensure how they fit into the operator’s wider strategic picture.