Genting to Permanently Shutter Poker Offerings at Casinos

One of the major players on the United Kingdom casino scene, Genting Group, has informed its employees that it will be permanently shuttering its live-poker offerings in its casinos as part of its ongoing adaptations to the COVID-19 pandemic.

By: Haley Hintze

Rumors surrounding the future of Genting’s poker services have heated up in recent days, with the President and COO of Genting UK, Paul Willcock, already acknowledging difficult decisions under consideration. In a letter to Genting employees, Willcock wrote: “The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges. It has had a huge financial impact on our business and caused significant uncertainty for the foreseeable future. I am therefore forced to contemplate some very difficult options to ensure survival.”

The decision to shutter poker across all of Genting has since been shared with affected employees, though Genting Group has yet to issue a formal statement. Genting Poker’s landing page continues to hold out the promise of a July re-opening but has not been updated in recent days. However, Richard Wootton, the cardroom manager at Genting’s Resorts World Casino in Birmingham, publicly acknowledged the shuttering of poker in a Facebook post earlier this week via his own termination notice.

Wootton wrote: “Well, it’s been emotional 😞 Thank you to all our poker players, hope you had a great experience. Thoughts to all my colleagues (family) that didn’t deserve this (although in current climate it was kind of expected) you are all superstars and proud to have had you in our team. Onwards and Upwards. PS any one hiring? 😂”

Wootton’s mention of “current climate” appeared to reference the COVID-19 situation; all of Genting’s 47 casinos across the UK remain shuttered until at least July 4. Genting offers poker at many but not all of those casinos. An indeterminate number of jobs will be lost due to the permanent poker shuttering, including 98 at Resorts World Casino alone.

The permanent closure of poker services also likely means the end of the Genting Poker Series, at least for the foreseeable future. The series was founded in 2012 and has become a mainstay of mid-priced tourney offerings in the UK. The 2020 schedule was set to include 22 stops, but only four of those ran as planned until poker events were cancelled in mid-March.

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