Everything on the table as Crown Resorts restructuring begins

crown-resorts-restructuring-layoffsAustralian casino operator Crown Resorts has begun an aggressive cost-cutting program following a sharp decline in its VIP gambling business.

On Tuesday, Australian media reported that over 200 employees at the Crown Perth casino had been made redundant. A Crown spokesperson emphasized that “5,500 people continue to work at Crown Perth and we have a strong commitment to their development and welfare.”

The Perth payroll won’t be the last Crown asset to face the axe. In January, Crown owner James Packer gave executive chairman John Alexander broad authority to make some “hard calls” as part of a sweeping review of Crown’s costs.

Alexander, who will also assume the CEO’s duties from the outgoing Rowen Craigie as of March 1, is reportedly considering selling Crown Perth’s $40m superyacht Infinity in order to save its annual $1m operating budget.

Ditto for Crown’s three Bombardier Global Express XRS private jets. It was only a couple years ago that Crown paid $100m for its air force, but with Crown persona non grata on the Chinese mainland following last year’s arrests of Crown staffers for promoting illegal gambling activity, fewer Chinese VIPs are willing to make the trek to Crown’s Australian properties.

Crown is also selling the $60m slice of the Ellerston property in New South Wales it purchased from Packer in September 2015. Ellerston features luxury accommodations and a Greg Norman-designed golf course and had been tipped as another treat with which to lure international VIPs to Crown casinos. But it costs $6m to run, so it’s gotta go, as will Crown’s other golf course, the Capital Golf Club in Melbourne.

Crown’s sports and racing sponsorships are also not long for this world. These include Crown’s multi-year deals with the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Melbourne Storm of the National Rugby League, as well as Crown’s sponsorship of Melbourne Cup Week race The Oaks at the Victoria Racing Club.

In short, it’s almost too bad Packer called off his engagement to Mariah Carey, as one can only imagine what price she might have brought from some Arab oil sheik.