Australia: Entain axes over 50 local jobs as part of cost-cutting mandate

British gambling firm Entain has fired over 50 employees in Australia in an attempt to lower its spending. The local branch of the firm has also slowed plans to hire staff as part of its cost-cutting mandate from its global parent.

According to a report by Australian Financial Review, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the decision, headcount reductions and cost-cutting will take place across the entire business, which has operations in the UK, Europe, and South America.

One source told the publication that over 80 jobs may have been lost locally, while others said that the number could be closer to 60. The affected employees worked across several divisions including customer service, digital, technology, and marketing.

AFR quoted an Entain representative who said: “Entain has enjoyed a rapid period of growth in Australia, and like any major technology-led company, we continue to review business operations and tweak our structures to set us up for the next stage of growth. Unfortunately, this has led to a small number of redundancies across a range of business units.”

Entain-owned Ladbrokes was launched in 2013 in Australia and has experienced rapid growth in the past two years owing to increasing consumer spending. The team employed about 400 in the country in 2021, and the figure has doubled since then, as per the report. 

Eyeing further growth, the company launched a group of online television channels to engage punters. It has also employed commentators and writers for pre-race programs, social media, and online content. 

Entain faces challenges

However, Entain’s journey in Australia hasn’t been without its challenges. Last September, the company became the subject of an ongoing investigation from the Australian anti-money laundering watchdog over anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. The investigation could take two years and result in a maximum fine of AUD 22 million ($14.1 million).

Additionally, the recent launch of BetStop, a self-exclusion register in Australia, could put Entain in a position of restricted gambling advertising, thereby facing financial hiccups. Betstop allows gamblers to self-exclude from all sites for three months or life.

As for its operations elsewhere, earlier this month, Entain set aside £585 million ($744.5 million) for a potential settlement with British authorities over alleged bribery offenses at its former Turkish betting business, Sportingbet. Entain, previously GVC, owned the brand between 2011 and 2017.