CASINO

30 Resorts World Sentosa workers lose jobs amid gaming downturn in Asia

TAGs: Genting Singapore, Grant Govertsen, Jasmine Solana, nagaworld, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

At least 30 people bade farewell to their jobs at Resorts World Sentosa during the Chinese New Year period.

30 Resorts World Sentosa workers lose jobs amid gaming downturn in AsiaSingaporean news outlet The Straits Times reported that some of those who were let go were from the casino department, including pit managers and cage cashiers. The resort complex employs an estimated 12,000 people, according to the news outlet.

In an email to CalvinAyre.com, Resorts World Sentosa clarified what happened was “not a lay-off but part and parcel of Resorts World Sentosa’s annual team member performance review.”

“We constantly review our operational resources to stay relevant in this rapidly evolving business environment,” a Resorts World Sentosa spokesperson told CalvinAyre.com. “As part of our efforts to improve our service delivery in our resort, staff performance appraisal and movement is integral of this effort.”

The spokesperson said the integrated resort is “committed to ensuring a professional workforce that will deliver service excellence to our guests and preserve our standards.”

Grant Govertsen, managing director for equity research of Union Gaming Securities Asia, said cutting off “a handful of people” is practically a non-event, but Genting Singapore, which operates Resorts World Sentosa, is “facing a downturn” so this particular event is worth looking at.

“Just a couple dozen people out of 12,000 is a non-event when looked at on a percentage basis,” Govertsen told CalvinAyre.com. “That said, any business that is facing a downturn, as is RWS, it makes sense to evaluate the business and cut costs wherever possible.”

According to Bloomberg Business, Genting Singapore is experiencing its “steepest profit decline since 2009.” Deutsche Bank AG analyst Jeffrey Ng told the business news outlet the casino operator not only tumbled 72 percent to S$143 million ($102 million) last year, but it also missed estimates by about half due to debt provisions.

And Genting Singapore’s decline only proves that the VIP market is shrinking not just in Macau, but throughout Asia.

“This is happening throughout casinos in Asia, particularly due to the ongoing weakness in VIP. Simply put junkets need fewer staff due to the fact that there are fewer customers these days,” Govertsen said.

An exception to this is NagaWorld, which the analyst is “growing VIP nicely.”

“Naga remains one of the only marquee names in Asian gaming that continues to deliver solid earnings growth despite the challenging gaming macro,” Govertsen said in a previous note. “We look for Naga to continue growing earnings associated with VIP gaming, although (importantly) the company’s exposure to this volatile segment remains low at <20% of gross profit.”

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