Updated 7.40pm, adds governrment statement
A gaming firm has wound up its operations in Malta, laying off around 140 remaining employees, breaking the news just in time for Christmas.
Employees were told on Friday that Genesis Global Limited had filed for insolvency and that they were being made redundant after it had decided to “permanently close its operation in Malta”.
They were told they could not be promised their December salary and neither any other payments they were due. They were also told to take any pending vacation leave.
Employees received an email informing them that the company had started proceedings in court for it to be declared insolvent after it faced “serious financial difficulties”.
As a result, the company said it may not be able to fulfil payments owed to its employees, including any outstanding salaries for the month of December or other sums which may have been due.
“We are currently trying our best to find a solution to this issue by trying to raise some funds, and in addition, we hope to liaise with the authorities concerned in order to ease the burden and find alternative solutions in order for you to be paid at least some of the money due to you,” the email read.
Workers were told that their last day of employment will be January 22 and that they will be on notice in the interim. They were also told to contact the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations for “guidance”.
The news came just weeks after co-founder and CEO Ariel Reem announced on LinkedIn that he had left the business. According to the Malta Business Registry, more directors resigned from the company in recent weeks, including the company secretary.
The news about the company's uncertain future was first broken by iGamingnext.com.
Genesis Global Limited employed some 200 people in Malta, but had already started shedding workers in the past few weeks, laying off between 30 and 40 people after it became evident that it was running into the ground.
An employee told Times of Malta on condition of anonymity that this had long been coming and that many of his colleagues had been actively looking for another job “for months”.
“We knew this was coming as the company could not pay its dues. It was evident that there were problems but we did not expect it to get to this,” he said.
Earlier this year, the company was slapped with a £3.8m fine by the UK Gambling Commission after a two-year investigation identified several breaches in anti-money laundering and social responsibility regulations that occurred in 2020.
Established in 2014, the company had offices in Poland and Gibraltar.
Alternative employment being sought for dismissed workers
In a statement, the government said that as soon as Genesis embarked on its insolvency procedure, the Economy Minister immediately commissioned iGaming Malta to start working to find alternative employment for the affected workers.
A number of them had, in fact, already found employment.
The ministry was also in touch with the company to obtain the details of the workers whose job was being terminated so that they can be contacted.
It said the iGaming Council, set up earlier this month, had been informed and the necessary assistance was being provided to workers.
The ministry said there are currently around 700 vacancies in the iGaming sector so the utmost is being done for priority to be given to the "around 80" workers who were about to lose their job.