Online gaming operator bet-at-home announced today its Austrian subsidiary would undergo a restructuring plan that would make 65 company employees redundant.
Downsizing Austrian Payroll
The one-time reduction of 65 employees is part of the plan already approved by both the Management and Supervisory boards that seeks to adjust expenses according to the lower revenue expectations by introducing “measures consisting of an efficiency enhancement and cost reduction program”.
In October, Frankfurt-listed bet-at-home announced a decision to cease its products and services to residents in Austria, following an assessment of the “steadily increasing risk potential that appears indefensible” in the light of the legal action launched by players in the country against illegal operators.
The only licensed gambling operator in the country is Casinos Austria and a group of players filed a case seeking reimbursements of their losses, claiming they were made while gambling with illegal companies.
As much as bet-at-home believes a one-time favorable ruling may be coming, the company management does not believe that continuation of operation is plausible before further legal clarifications.
Still, bet-at-home recognized an unfavorable decision of the lawsuit would force it to pay back 40% of the customer losses, made provisions of expenses to the amount of €24.6 million ($27.8 million) and adjusted its 2021 EBITDA expectations accordingly. The operator already suffered a double-digit drop in gross gaming and betting revenue in 2020.
Embracing for the Impact
The operator announced then its previous revenue estimates of between €100 million ($113 million) and €110 million ($124.3 million) and EBITDA of between €8 million ($9 million) and €10 million ($11.3 million) were no longer valid: revenue was expected to drop to the €93 million – €98 million ($105.1 million – $110.7 million) range, while EBITDA was projected to go into negative territory of between €10 million ($11.3 million) to €14 million ($15.8 million).
Bet-at-home’s statement announcing the redundancy in Austria ended on a positive note by outlining that the highly qualified and dedicated employees at the company serve as the main driver that positions the operator for “positive economic development.”
Bet-at-home sports betting and gaming operations in Germany were also impacted by regulatory headwinds which resulted in H1 2021 revenue drop of 8.8% to €56.8 million ($64.2 million).