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Archive for April 5th, 2019

Ladbrokes Coral to Shutter Tel Aviv Office

Ladbrokes Coral is set to close its Tel Aviv office by the end of the year, putting around 140 marketing, tech, and other jobs at risk

Ladbrokes Coral is putting up the shutters of its Tel Aviv office, a spokesperson for the gambling operator’s parent company GVC Holdings told the Calcalist Tech earlier this week. The decision is part of a marketing reshuffle, it also became known.

The announcement comes just a year after Ladbrokes Coral revealed plans to double its Tel Aviv workforce to 200 from 100 employees.

Ladbrokes Coral’s office occupies an entire floor in the Azrieli Sarona tower in Tel Aviv. The gambling giant originally set foot in the heavyweight tech hub in 2013. Back then, it laid off more than 100 employees involved in its digital operations in the UK and transferred a number of key tasks to its newly opened Tel Aviv office.

Ladbrokes Coral has not been the only major gambling operator to announce its departure from Israel in recent years. Rival powerhouse William Hill closed its Tel Aviv office in 2017. The British bookmaker’s Israeli operation was, too, located in the Azrieli Towers. Around 250 people were employed at the local office at the time, and more than 200 of them were laid off as a result from William Hill’s decision to leave.

140 Jobs At Risk

Ladbrokes Coral said earlier this week that the 140 employees at its Tel Aviv office would be either laid off or offered to relocate at some of the company’s other offices. Marketing positions at the soon-to-be-closed office will be transferred to Gibraltar, it became known, while tech positions will be relocated to GVC’s office in Hyderabad, India.

A spokesperson for Ladbrokes Coral’s parent company said that they will make sure their workers are treated in a “fair and compassionate” manner and are offered assistance in their next career pursuits.

Ladbrokes Coral joined GVC Holdings last spring when the latter company cleared some final regulatory hurdles and was given the green light to complete the £3-plus-billion takeover. The move created one of the world’s largest gambling companies.

And while the newly enlarged group recently posted solid financial results for 2018, it expects its 2019 revenue and profits to suffer a serious blow from the crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals in the UK.

Ladbrokes Coral is the operator of the largest UK chain of betting shops, which means that the impact from the recent reduction of the maximum stake on FOBTs to just £2 from £100 would be enormous. Its parent company has warned that it could be forced to shutter up to 1,000 betting shops in order to be able to adjust to the new regulatory regime.

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Melco Looks For Staff at Third Cyprus Satellite Casino

Melco’s Ayia Napa satellite casino will initially employ 35 people, the company said in a Thursday press release

With preparations for this summer’s opening of Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s third satellite casino in the Republic of Cyprus in high gear, the company has begun its search for casino staff for the facility.

In a press release from earlier today, the Hong Kong-listed gaming and hospitality company, which is quickly expanding its presence in the tiny island nation, announced new job opportunities at its Cyprus Casinos “C2” satellite casino in Ayia Napa.

As mentioned earlier, the facility is slated to open doors this summer. It will be Melco’s third satellite casino in Cyprus after the company debuted similar gaming venues in the capital Nicosia and at Larnaca International Airport late last year.

C2 Ayia Napa will initially employ 35 people, according to today’s press release. Employees are being sought to take roles as slot attendants, cage cashiers, supervisors, and security officers at the satellite casino.

Since last summer’s opening of a temporary casino in Limassol, Melco has hired more than 800 people, most of whom Cypriot citizens. More job opportunities will be created ahead of the opening of a fourth satellite casino in Paphos and the launch of the company’s main City of Dreams Mediterranean resort in Limassol in 2021. The temporary casino will remain operational until the main casino floor along with the rest of the luxury complex is under development.

The Successful Applicants

The successful applicants for a job at C2 Ayia Napa will be trained ahead of their employment as “is the award-winning global Melco norm.” Commenting on the new career opportunities, the Vice President Human Resources of Melco in Cyprus, Victoria Michaelidou, said that they need candidates who share the casino giant’s “commitment to the highest standards of service, quality, and responsible gaming.”

Ms. Michaelidou went on to say that they will keep on offering jobs in a “supportive working environment” and that they want job applicants to view working for the company “as a desirable and exciting career opportunity.”

All available positions can be seen on the official websites of Cyprus Casinos, Melco’s Cypriot casino operation, and City of Dreams Mediterranean. Job applicants must be over 21, as per Cypriot law and relevant regulations.

Updates about the upcoming opening of Melco’s Ayia Napa satellite casino arrive shortly after the company awarded Wednesday the construction contract to a joint venture formed by Greek companies GEK Terna and J&P Avax. Melco CEO and Chairman Lawrence Ho said Wednesday that the award of the contract marked the “beginning of construction of City of Dreams Mediterranean and demonstrates [their] ongoing commitment to the project as well as to Cyprus.”

Construction of the main luxury resort is slated to commence early this month. The property is expected to open doors in 2021 and to employ more than 2,400 people once fully operational.

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MassGaming Grills Wynn Resorts CEO at Critical Hearing

Wynn Resorts CEO Matthew Maddox faced grilling questions about his leadership and claims of lack of any knowledge of recurring sexual harassment incidents at the company during the second day of MassGaming’s hearing.

The critical three-day hearing will help the Massachusetts Gaming Commission decide on the fate of the Las Vegas casino giant in the state. Wynn Resorts is building the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in the city of Everett near Boston. The property is slated to open doors on June 23.

The two-hour interview of Wynn Resorts’ CEO before the Commission was the highlight of the second day of the hearing. Mr. Maddox served as President of the company until its former boss, Steve Wynn, stepped down from the CEO role last February, following the publication of a Wall Street Journal article detailing a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct by the casino mogul.

Since news about multiple sexual harassment incidents involving Mr. Wynn and Wynn Resorts employees emerged, Mr. Maddox has maintained that he had no previous knowledge of what was going on in the company.

Commissioner Gayle Cameron was among the gaming officials to grill Mr. Maddox during the hearing with different important questions about how he missed all the red flags that something was going on.

What does it say about your leadership?

During the Wednesday hearing, Mr. Maddox said that at first he was led to believe that the bombshell WSJ article was part of Mr. Wynn’s ex-wife Elaine Wynn’s litigation strategy against the businessman and Wynn Resorts. The company’s current CEO also admitted that the state of denial he was in immediately after the publication of the scandalous report, has clouded his judgment.

Asked by Commissioner Cameron whether he believed all women that had leveled sexual misconduct allegations against Mr. Wynn had lied, Mr. Maddox said that in the moments of crisis it was a natural reaction to deny everything.

Mr. Wynn has called the allegations against him preposterous, but has said that he has had multiple consensual relationships with Wynn Resorts staff over the years.

Ms. Cameron pressed on with questions about why Wynn Resorts staff had not told Mr. Maddox about the sexual harassment incidents while he was the company’s President. “What does it say about your leadership if they think it’s OK that all these things can be happening but yet you were never notified,” the commissioner went on.

Mr. Maddox responded by saying that staff members were probably trying to protect Mr. Wynn and that the last thing they would want to do is tell him as he was known to be a “straight arrow.”

Ms. Cameron said that the former Wynn Resorts President was clearly a straight arrow employees could go right around. The executive responded that Mr. Wynn was the casino operator’s boss at the time, even though he believed the reporting line should have indeed been clearer.

Mr. Maddox told commissioners he was unaware of the scope and true reasons behind multiple settlements between Mr. Wynn and company workers. One of those settlements involved the disgraced casino boss paying $7.5 million to a Wynn Las Vegas manicurist. Other settlements involved Mr. Wynn paying spa employees who were allegedly asked by the billionaire businessman to give him a “sensual massage.”

Asked whether Mr. Maddox has met spa and salon staff since he stepped in as CEO of Wynn Resorts to listen to and reassure them, the executive said that he has not conducted such group meetings yet.

The final day of the hearing is set to take place today. However, a decision on whether Wynn Resorts will be allowed to keep its casino license in Massachusetts is likely weeks from being announced as commissioners are now set to review the information gained over the course of the past three days.

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Greece Casino License Application Deadline Extended

The license application deadline for a Hellinikon casino was pushed back due to zoning issues and pending ministerial decisions

Six weeks into the bidding process for a license for the development of a €1 billion casino complex as part of a larger €8 billion integrated resort at the site of the former Ellinikon International Airport, the deadline for submitting license applications has been pushed back, local news outlet The National Herald reports.

The Hellenic Gaming Commission opened the license application process in February. Interested casino operators originally had up until 11 am local time on April 22 to submit their applications with the Greek gambling regulator.

As reported by The National Herald, the deadline has now been extended to May 31, 2019. The news outlet said citing unnamed sources that the deadline extension was due to pending zoning issues at the Ellinikon site.

Ellinikon International Airport was the international airport of Athens for more than six decades before its closure in 2001. The project for its redevelopment into a luxury integrated resort was part of Greece’s privatization program, which the country signed in 2010 under its bailout arrangements.

According to reports, there is an unspecified number of ministerial decisions in relation to the privatization yet to be made. In addition, an environmental impact study is to be debated up until May 14. The National Herald wrote that the ministerial decisions and the environmental impact study could take months before finalized, which could further delay the bidding process for the casino portion of the resort.

Global Gambling Giants Express Interest in the Project

Caesars Entertainment, Hard Rock International, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, and Genting Group have been among the gaming groups to have expressed interest in developing and operating a casino resort at the site of the former international airport.

Greek developer Lamda Development has been selected as the preferred developer of what the company has dubbed as the Hellinikon. The whole resort will occupy 2 million square meters of land at the site of the former Ellinikon. Investment in the mega-scheme is expected to top €8 billion. A consortium of UAE and Chinese investors and Greece’s Latsis Group are also taking part in the project.

The winning bidder for the development of a casino complex as part of the larger resort will be granted a 30-year gaming license by the Hellenic Gaming Commission. The regulatory body has said in the call for tenders that was published in the Official Journal of the European Union that the international tender would be “conducted on the basis of the most economically advantageous offer based on the best price-quality ratio.”

As mentioned above, the winning bidder will have to pledge a €1 billion investment and to have experience with operating at least one casino with no fewer than 500 slot machines and no fewer than 100 gaming tables.

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