Aristocrat Announce Stands Down 1k Staff During COVID-19

Australia’s ASX-listed gambling technology company Aristocrat Leisure has announced it will stand down 1,000 staff members as it seeks to reduce the COVID-19 effect.

In a statement, Aristocrat reported that the bulk of those who will stand down are based in the U.S., where the company has the bulk of its employees, but even “a few hundred” staff in Australia have stood down.

Trevor Croker, CEO & managing director of Aristocrat, 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 believe that these changes will help maximise opportunities for Aristocrat’s dedicated and talented people over the longer term.

“We will continue to do everything we can to restore momentum in our land-based business as quickly as possible recognising the importance of continuing to develop and deliver game content during this period.”

In addition to raising payroll numbers, Aristocrat will also introduce temporary pay cuts for 1,500 staff members, which will last until September.

Some wage cuts range from 10 percent to 20 percent, though Croker’s base salary would also suffer a 30% reduction. Together, these cost-reduction programmes are projected to produce around $100 million in defined savings over the remainder of the fiscal year ending September 30th 2020.

Croker added: “These changes, and other prudent steps we are taking as part of our COVID-19 response, will deliver important operational and financial flexibility, focus and efficiency through this period of uncertainty.”

“We are highly focused on protecting and leveraging our strategic advantages, including industry-leading Design & Development and effective User Acquisition investment, which Aristocrat will continue to prioritise.

“In land-based, we will ensure the business is ideally poised to partner our customers and grow as conditions improve, while in digital we remain fully focused on executing our growth plans and maximising opportunities at this time.”