Covid bloodbath as Aristocrat lays off 1,000, slashes wages

Pokie machine manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure is taking the axe to staff and wages as its global customers remain closed as a precaution against the spread of Covid-19.

The company, which earns 60 per cent of profits from casinos and other public gambling, told investors it would save $100 million in the year ended 30 September by:

# Laying off 1,000 of its 4,000 staff

# Axing 200 jobs permanently, and moving 200 to part-time employment

# cutting wages by 10-20 per cent

# and cutting Directors’ fees and a instituting a 30 per cent pay cut for the CEO Trevor Croker.

While a number of manufacturing companies have cut operations this is by far the largest Covid-19 response so far – a recognition of the almost total closure of gaming venues.

The company’s online gaming business remains strong.

Aristocrat is covered by the JobSeeker employment subsidy in Australia and will apply this to as many jobs as possible at its North Ryde, Sydney head office operation.

Trevor Croker said: “We are very sensitive to the impact of necessary cost reduction measures on our people, and will work hard to support them through this difficult time consistent with our ‘people first’ approach.

“We…will help maximise opportunities for Aristocrat’s dedicated and talented people over the longer term.”

Croker said the company would prioritise protecting its core design and development and user acquisition capabilities.

The company remains financially strong with $1 billion in liquidity including $236 million in accessible credit.

Last financial year Aristocrat sold 37,863 gaming machines globally and had an installed base of 58,220 fee-earning machines in the North American market.

Picture: Aristocrat Leisure/Cash Express Luxury Line

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