NetEnt sacks 55 staff to “increase profitability and competitiveness”


netent-ninja-live-casinoOnline gambling technology provider NetEnt is cutting 55 employees as part of a global restructuring to “increase profitability and competitiveness.”

On Wednesday, the Stockholm-listed NetEnt announced that it was “taking action to optimize its operations,” which will lead to the elimination of 55 full-time positions, most of which are based at the company’s Stockholm headquarters.

The changes will take place this month, and the company intends to reallocate its resources to increase game production. The company believes the restructuring will enable it to release between 30-35 new games in 2019.

The company says this reorganization will result in non-recurring costs of around SEK25m (US$2.75m) that will appear in its fourth-quarter 2018 results. Roughly SEK5m of these costs will result from a write-down of intangible assets from an apparently ill-fated “development project in the area of virtual reality.”

NetEnt CEO Therese Hillman said the “decentralizing” of the company’s operations marked “another step towards a new NetEnt, where customers and players are in focus.” This newly streamlined company “will have clearer responsibilities and more emphasis on value-creating initiatives.”

Hillman was appointed to her current position in May following the sacking of her predecessor Per Eriksson in March. The company was coming off a somewhat disappointing 2017, which saw revenue decline in the final quarter as the company was forced out of Australia, Poland and the Czech Republic by regulatory changes.

NetEnt also announced a new live virtual casino deal with Global Gaming’s flagship Ninja Casino brand. The customized Ninja Casino Live product, in which the dealers appear to be operating from “one of the top floors of a futuristic skyscraper,’ offers roulette and blackjack in Swedish and English languages for both desktop and mobile users.

NetEnt launched its first virtual live casino product with fellow Swedes Mr Green (now MRG) in February. NetEnt’s chief product officer Henrik Fagerlund said the product had “breathed new life into the live casino experience” by allowing operators to have “significant input into the design and build of the product.”