28/02/2017 - 15:30

Job cuts at Crown Perth

28/02/2017 - 15:30

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Crown Resorts has reportedly cut more than 200 jobs at its Crown Perth entertainment complex in the wake of a 38 per cent fall in high-roller revenue.

Crown spent $600 million developing Crown Towers, which opened to much fanfare late last year. Photo:Attila Csaszar

Crown Resorts has reportedly cut more than 200 jobs at its Crown Perth entertainment complex in the wake of a 38 per cent fall in high-roller revenue.

The company, the state’s eight biggest employer according to the BNiQ Search Engine, has not officially announced the number of jobs that will be cut, but confirmed that Crown Perth's staff had been downsized.

In response to enquiries by Business News, a spokesperson from Crown said difficult trading conditions over the past couple of months had resulted in a number of redundancies.

‘‘Five and a half thousand people continue to work at Crown Perth and we have a strong commitment to their development and welfare,” the spokesperson said.

Crown's previous local peak employment in Western Australia was 6,100 people, according to data acquired for the BNiQ Hotels List.

The group’s recent half-year results showed VIP gaming revenue had dropped 45 per cent to $19 billion. Crown Perth’s share, $5 billion, had held up slightly better than its Melbourne cousin but the result is nevertheless dramatic. By comparison in its annual report for the year ending June 30 last year Crown said VIP program play turnover in Australia was $65.1 billion, about 8 per cent below the previous full year result. In the same annual report Crown highlighted how the slowdown had hit Perth earlier than its other Australian assets.

"The softening global marketplace was felt more significantly at Crown Perth, with turnover volumes declining by 18.7 per cent to $15 billion," the resort operator said of its VIP program play revenue.

Program play is a specific part of the casino business which is for some overseas customers and includes junkets as one variety.

In the last financial year, around a quarter of the Crown's group revenues were generated from international VIP gaming programs, but it is low margin business, relying on volumes in the billions to create operating revenue in the tens of millions.

Late last year, Crown Resorts became embroiled in a scandal in China where many of its staff have been arrested for activities linked to recruiting VIPs or high-rollers, also known as whales, to gamble in its resorts.

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