Another major Australian gambling operator laid off most of its workforce this week amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Tabcorp revealed it is laying off 700 employees until at least June 30. The gambling and lottery operator stated a lack of work for the standing down of employees.
Tabcorp has been hit hard by the government’s decision to close most public entertainment venues. Many of Tabcorp’s TAB betting agencies come under that umbrella and were forced to shut. TAB retail operations outside these venues have been impaired by the suspension of most major sports leagues around the world.
Affected employees have access to their accrued annual leave benefits to help tie them over. Tabcorp is also exploring if it is eligible for the federal government’s Job Keeper Wage Subsidy. This provides up to $750 per week for up to six months for qualifying companies.
The company’s executives have taken a significant wage cut while the 700 employees are without work. David Attenborough, the CEO, agreed to a 20% cut to his remuneration. The board of directors have taken an additional 10% cut on top of the 10% agreed in September.
Not all staff have been made temporarily redundant, but they are being asked to help cut costs. All unaffected staff are being asked to take at least one day’s leave per week until June 30.
Tabcorp Takes Steps to Boost Liquidity
The venue closures and sports postponements have caused a cashflow problem for Tabcorp. This has lead to Tabcorp securing a $226 million short-term credit facility. It’s also reviewing its expenditure programme and deferring certain payments. Tabcorp currently pays around $40 million per month in Keno and lottery taxes.
The situation would be far worse had Australia’s horse racing industry not continued to operate albeit behind closed doors. It’s lottery operations at convenience stores and newsagents are enjoying business as usual, too.
TAB’s digital business did, however, shoot itself in the foot last weekend. It’s Cash Out product malfunctioned and offered seriously generous rates ahead of the final leg of some quaddie bets. Tabcorp froze 1,300 betting accounts to prevent punters from withdrawing these funds.
Tabcorp-Owned The Lott Donates $1 Million to Covid-19 Research
It’s not all doom and gloom for Tabcorp because one its businesses joined the COVID-19 fight this week. The Lott donated $1 million to assist the research for a coronavirus vaccine that has swept the world.
The donation comes from the Golden Casket sector of The Lott. This is in charge of scratch cards and lottery ticket sales sold through newsagents and convenience stores.
Tabcorp’s recently stood down staff may be wondering why the company is donating seven-figures when they have lost their jobs. They needn’t worry because the donation stems from unclaimed prize money accumulated over the years.
University of Queensland’s School of Chemistry and Biosciences received the donation. Only six facilities on the planet tasked with creating a vaccine for COVID-19, this is one of them.
Vaccine Is More Than A Year Away
A working, readily available vaccine is approximately 18-months away. Meanwhile, confirmed cases of the virus continue to spiral upwards.
An increase of 43,983 cases in the past 24-hours means 1,647,635 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world as of April 10. The death toll stands at 100,260, up 4,568 from yesterday. Australia has managed to miss the brunt of the virus so far with “only” 6,203 confirmed cases. Australian deaths amount to 53.
The true infection figures are far worse because millions of people around the world are self-isolating at home so aren’t part of the World Health Organisation’s figures.
Basic hygiene helps stop the virus from spreading according to the World Health Organization. Follow these simple steps to help stop the spread of this deadly virus.
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20-seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
- Avoid touching your hands and face, especially with unwashed hands
- Try to avoid close contact with people who appear sick
- Avoid public places if you, yourself, are sick
- Frequently clean and disinfect items and surfaces you regularly touch
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue and discard the tissue in the trash