Business isn’t improving fast enough for Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), the Singaporean integrated resort owned and operated by Genting Singapore. The company has revealed it must lay off staff as a lack of tourism continues to strangle the business.
The Straits Times reports RWS are laying off approximately 2,000 employees as part of a “one-off workplace rationalisation.” The operator did not confirm though exactly how many of its 7,000 employees remain after the cuts. “We have made the difficult decision to implement a one-off workforce rationalization,” the company said in a statement.
RWS was cleared to reopen, following a long shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic, on July 1. However, that brought significant restrictions, allowing only upper-tier members of customer reward programs to play, as well as locals who’ve paid SG$3k that gives them unlimited access to the casinos. That’s something, but without tourism to buff up revenues a bit, it just wasn’t enough to save these employees’ jobs.
The operator lamented the affect a lack of tourism has had both on itself, and Singapore as a whole. “Its pervasive and lasting effects will accelerate shifts in the tourism industry that require significant adjustments by all travel and tourism players,” RWS noted.
Cutting jobs wasn’t the first choice of the casino, and they stressed that they tried to tighten their belt in other ways first. “Over the past few months, we have reviewed all costs, eliminated non-essential spending and reduced the salaries of management by up to 30 per cent.”
Although out of a job, locals retrenched by the outfit are promised as many as three job opportunities to consider on their way out. They will also receive full compensation packages. “We fully understand the difficulty and anxiety this means to impacted team members and their families. We stand in solidarity with the Singapore Government in identifying all possible opportunities to help them transition smoothly to new careers.”
With as much cost cutting as Genting Singapore could try to find, this pandemic, and the lack of tourism it has brought with it, came at a terrible time. The company was ambitiously looking toward expansion in 2019, spending as much as $3.3 billion on new hotel rooms and gaming floor area. Those plans are now an albatross around the operator’s neck.