Lay Offs at NetEnt after Evolution Closes Live Casino Operations

Malta’s NetEnt, an iGaming software provider, has started cutting jobs and has completely shut down the live casino part of the organization after the company was procured by Evolution Gaming. Tuesday morning saw numerous employees being sent home in despair after being informed of the sudden changes. There was also an immense security presence on the property due to a few outbursts from some of the staff. NetEnt has told its former employees to wait for an email which will inform them what will happen next, as some of them will be kept on.

Netent logo with Malta in background

Employees with a year or two left on their contracts will likely be given compensation from the Maltese government or the company; however, there’s no way of telling exactly what will happen. While hundreds of NetEnt employees are set to lose their jobs, a special helpline has been established by the government to assist those that have lost their jobs. An Evolution Gaming spokesperson has stated that the studio, based in Qormi, will be shut down, which means that those that have worked directly with live gaming will lose their job due to redundancy.

However, the issue is that there have been expectations regarding retrenchments due to redundancies long before this had happened. A $2 billion bid to acquire NetEnt was submitted in June 2020, which means that NetEnt should’ve predicted the mass lay-offs.

Support For New Jobs Promised

NetEnt, which supplies the games found at all Netent Casinos, which managed to secure support in September from the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority. The restructuring process that’s been implemented by Evolution Gaming has led the Economy Ministry to try and identify other means of employment for those that have been affected. The staff that lost their jobs have been encouraged to sign up for potential employment via JobsPlus.

The department has also gone further to ensure that arrangements have been made to provide affected staff members with purposely set-up employment matchmaking via JobsPlus. However, Malta doesn’t seem to be the only region that’s been affected by the acquisition, as a spokesperson has stated that it had led to the shutdown of a few business lines in Malta and other regions. The nonprofit foundation Gaming Malta has also contacted other software providers and operators regarding job opportunities.

Essentially, employees that might lose their jobs are being assisted with making a smooth transition to a new company.

Reaction From Employees

As expected, NetEnt’s employees were incredibly upset about the ordeal, not because it happened, but rather how it happened. Employees were paid their full salaries for December, and the company is looking to decide on each employee. This means that they’ll decide who’ll be staying and who won’t. A representative of the employees held a meeting with the employers to ask questions regarding the lay-offs, and this was with a lawyer present to ensure that everything was correct.

The company also requested that employees vacate the premises. Before they could even call cabs or contact anyone, they were shut out of the office Wi-Fi. Many of the employees decided to get drunk after the announcement had been made. It’s also believed that one of the higher-ranked managers had known about the mass lay-off but didn’t say anything, though this is likely due to a non-disclosure agreement.

Would Evolution Have Been a Good Fit?

The way that this process had been handled, especially as no notice had been provided for employees to prepare for the loss of their jobs, it shows that Evolution Gaming may have been a poor fit for many of these employees. The lack of respect that was displayed may prove to harm the reputation of the iGaming giants in the future, as talented individuals will likely avoid applying for posts at the company.

It’s easy to view Evolution Gaming as a ruthless company that bought a competitor just to destroy it, and while there’s yet to be a statement issued from the company, there’s no doubt that the fact that they’ve cost hundreds of people their jobs will hurt them. Those that have lost their jobs might have dodged a bullet, and maybe they’ll find something better with a more lucrative future. As for the gamers, we hope that the changes will overall be positive and benefit the NZ online casino industry as a whole.

How Does This Affect Casinos in New Zealand?

Many of the most respected online gambling institutions are regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority and changes happening at Netent, also based in Malta, could change the kind of games on offer in the future. For example, SkyCity Casino, known as one of the best online casinos NZ, is both regulated by the MGA and offers Netent games. A few other recommended Netent casinos in NZ are Genesis Casino, LeoVegas Casino, and Sloty Casino.

Last Updated: December 17, 2020