Crown Perth has cut more than 200 jobs in the wake of an immense high-roller revenue drop.
Hundreds of Crown employees have been made redundant after James Packer’s company released its interim results last week.
It was revealed in the six months ending December 31, high-roller revenue at its Perth complex declined by 38.6 per cent.
A job cull was speculated following these results and it appears the company has followed through, blaming difficult trading conditions according to a Crown spokesperson.
“A priority of ours is to support those affected by these changes,” the spokesperson said.
“Five and a half thousand people continue to work at Crown Perth and we have a strong commitment to their development and welfare.”
But culls aren’t expected to stop there since Crown Perth held up better than the Melbourne venue, which saw a 47.4 per cent decline in VIP revenue.
The arrests of 18 staff, including three Australians, in China last year for allegedly engaging in gambling-related crimes has been declared a major reason for the decline in patronage by Chinese VIP players.
The development of new casinos in Asian countries including Macau, Singapore, and South Korea are also said to be responsible for the weakened market.
Crown’s new executive chairman, John Alexander, who was announced just 43 minutes after the interim results were released, has said it is a “reality check” for the VIP sector.
Mr Alexander has indicated a crackdown on costs will be undertaken, fuelling reports Crown will sell its golf courses, terminate major sporting sponsorships and even consider selling its fleet of private jets for high rollers.
The company sponsors The Oaks, as well as the NRL teams the Melbourne Storm and the South Sydney Rabbitohs, and owns three Bombardier Global Express XRS aircrafts.
The new Barangaroo casino is also in the firing line, even though the venue hasn’t been built yet, with reports suggesting the results provide an insight into its potential performance.
But Mr Alexander has been careful in defining the casino’s audience, dismissing claims the China arrests would impact the new Crown casino as it appeals to more than just high rollers.
“VIP is very important but it is not the only arm and leg of Barangaroo,” he said.
“We expect to capture our share of the local market, which is strong and growing.”
The casino isn’t expected to open until 2021.
“We expect to have a lot greater clarity of our VIP operations by then,” Mr Alexander said.
“Our Barangaroo project will be the principal attraction for our customers.