Casinos Austria to cut 350 jobs

Sazka chief executive Robert Chvátal has been named chairman as the operator moves ahead with restructuring. Casinos Austria has announced it will make around 350 layoffs as part of a restructuring plan that aims to cut costs by €45m to ensure the profitability of its 12 casinos.

The exact number of jobs to be cut will be decided after discussions with staff as part of the supervisory board’s ReFIT plan, which has been described as the operator’s biggest-ever restructuring plan. In most cases, staff will be invited to take voluntary redundancy, retire or transition to part-time working it said.

It has also named Robert Chvátal, chief executive of majority shareholder Sakza Group, as interim chairman of the supervisory board until new board members are elected at the company’s Annual General Meeting in 2021. Former chairman Walter Rothensteiner stood down in July after 25 years in the role.

The plans have been criticised by Austria’s Union of Private Sector Employees, Printing, Journalism, and Paper (GPA-djp).

It has called on the government to step in to ensure the interests of the Austrian state, which still holds a stake in Casinos Austria through its investment arm, Österreichische Beteiligungs AG (ÖBAG). The ReFit plan will include the restructuring of operations and headquarters teams to give each casino more autonomy over day-to-day activity.

Casinos Austria chief executive, Bettina Glatz-Kremsner, said:

“[The] supervisory board has ensured that [Casinos Austria Group] is sustainably secured and that high quality forms of gambling can continue to be offered. The package was developed almost entirely on the basis of internal expertise in record time. I thank my colleagues for their professional and committed cooperation and to the employee representatives for their constructive attitude in often difficult negotiations for the good of the company.”

Chvátal said:

“The general economic conditions made a package of this size necessary in order to make the group of companies fit for the future. As owners with long-term interests, it is important to us to ensure the business is sustainable.”

Source: focusgn

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