Tabcorp Holdings, the Australian betting and lottery operating company, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be laying off 700 of it employees.
The company reported on Tuesday several steps intended to mitigate COVID-19’s effect on its bottom line, including the “temporary standing down of over 700 Tabcorp employees to 30 June 2020 in businesses of the Group where there is no work as a result of COVID-19 shutdowns.”
Last month, following the government’s order to close most public entertainment facilities, Tabcorp lost the use of several of their TAB betting agencies. The suspension of most major sports leagues has further affected TAB retail activities beyond those venues.
Tabcorp says affected workers can access their accrued leave benefits and the company is exploring their eligibility for Job Keeper Wage Subsidy from the federal government which offers up to six months of AU$750 per week for eligible companies.
Tabcorp also allows unaffected full-time workers from now until June 30 to take “at least one day’s leave per week.” Tabcorp’s infrastructure contractors are also making a “initial reduction” of about 40 percent.
The corporate ranks of Tabcorp are not resisting the cuts, with CEO David Attenborough deciding to reduce his remuneration by 20 per cent until June 30. Members of the board of directors of Tabcorp are taking a 10 per cent cut in addition to the 10 per cent reduction they decided last September.
Tabcorp is also taking steps to raise liquidity, including obtaining an additional short-term AU$226 million loan, updating its capital expenditure schedule and postponing payment of some State payroll, Keno and lottery taxes usually amounting to AU$40 million per month.
The condition of Tabcorp would be much worse if it were not because Australia’s racing industry has bucked the global trend by continuing with its activities, although ‘behind closed doors’ with only critical workers attending.
Often more or less as normal, Tabcorp’s lottery operations at newsagents, convenience stores, and other outlets do. Ditto for its digital wagering platforms, although the company possibly wishes it had completed ahead of schedule the migration of UBET customers from Tatts Group to a single integrated betting network.
TAB’s digital company has had its own target this weekend after its Cash Out plan provided incredibly generous rates ahead of the final leg of some ‘quaddie’ bets (four-leg parlay). Tabcorp was forced to suspend 1,300 betting accounts after discovering its mistake in an effort to prevent further punters from removing their badly won profits. The Cash Out role of Tabcorp was inoperable on Sunday while its technicians were trying to uncover the source of the glitch.
Today we released an update to the ASX regarding our latest response to COVID-19. Read more here: https://t.co/7CVEf20FNV
— Tabcorp (@Tabcorp) April 6, 2020