The Malta-licenced gaming company, Kindred Group, will be shedding 75 of its employees from its offices around the world and some of the layoffs will affect the Malta office, a company spokesman has confirmed. 

Stressing that the decision had no connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, the spokesman said the group was streamlining its operations and cutting costs where required. 

Only a “small group” of employees working at the company’s Tigne Point office will be made redundant. 

There are just below 400 employees in Malta and the company has 13 offices spread across Europe, US and Australia. The major locations are Malta, Gibraltar, London and Stockholm with between 300-400 employees in each. 

“We have not disclosed the number or nationality in each location but in Malta it is a small group out of the 75 employees who are at risk of redundancy and these individuals are spread across most of our markets. This action follows previous communication regarding the group’s financial performance during 2019 and subsequent action to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs across the business. The decision is not related to the current COVID-19 situation,” the spokesman said when contacted.

Kindred Group (previously Unibet Group) is one of the top firms in the gambling market in Malta. The spokesman said the decision followed an exhaustive review of business operations across the group and is part of a wider review of the cost base. 

“We are doing this to make business operations leaner and stronger to better support the strategic objective to deliver long-term, sustainable revenue from regulated markets. We acknowledge that this is already a challenging time for many and we will do all we can to support impacted individuals as much as possible through this period, in line with the values and culture of the group,” he said.

The formal consultation process will start later this month and will follow local employment laws.

“Kindred is known across the industry for its strong culture and great team spirit. Having to put good colleagues at risk of redundancy is a very tough and painful decision, but unfortunately necessary as we adapt to new market realities. What we have communicated to our teams today will always be a last resort and we will of course ensure our friends at Kindred who have been put at risk will receive the full support they need and deserve”, Henrik Tjärnström, Kindred Group CEO said.  

Meanwhile, news reports in Sweden suggest that the government is mulling a temporary shut-down or new restriction on online casino to avoid an increase in gambling related harm during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country’s gambling regulator Spelinspektionen confirmed that the government was considering various measures to protect consumers in the country, at a time when restrictions on movement are in place. This could lead to further redundancies in the sector. 

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