n undisclosed number of Genting Casino properties – Torquay, Bristol, and possibly in Margate – are expected to shut down permanently, as the company struggles with the losses caused by the coronavirus-related closures. Moreover, many workers are expected to lose their jobs across all the business’ 32 venues.
The company, which has had to close outlets during the coronavirus lockdown but can operate online, has written to workers outlining its plans as it battles losses caused by having to temporarily shut its sites, Plymouth Live reports.
The workers are being represented by GMB, the union for leisure and hospitality workers, which has warned that proposals to close Torquay's Genting Casino are “just the start” and the leisure and hospitality sector is at breaking point.
The company's Plymouth Casino, in Union Street, is set to remain open, but with potential job cuts. Workers there are on furlough under the Government’s Job Retention Scheme.
Genting has been consulting nationally with the GMB Union over potential reductions in headcount that the company said is needed to due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Workers at the two Devon sites have been informed of the proposals in a letter from chief executive Paul Willcock.
In the statement sent by Mr Willcock to employees, he said: "The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges."
Mr Willcock went on to say there was a "huge financial impact on our business and...significant uncertainty for the foreseeable future", and added: "I am therefore forced to contemplate some very difficult options to ensure survival.”
Matt Roberts, GMB Union regional organizer, said: "We are disappointed that the Torquay site is one of only three in the country that are proposed to close fully.
“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 utilizing 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."
Mr Roberts said the union will try hard to stop the Torquay closure but admitted: “Even if they do keep it open there will probably be job losses. And Torquay is a fragile economy as it is.”