If a report in The Guardian newspaper has any merit, Ladbrokes Coral appears to be stumbling from one public snafu to another.
The latest follows the emergence of a non-disclosure agreement late last year in which a problem gambler and relatives agreed to not report Ladbrokes’ gambling exclusion failures to authorities in a hush-settlement of almost GBP 1 million.
In Wednesday’s report, retail staff have reportedly been advised via an internal memo that between 1,000 and 3,500 shop closures and accompanying job losses are imminent due to the FOBT maximum bet rate being slashed from GBP 100 to GBP2.
The memo allegedly detailed the decision of which shops to close would be decided by a weighted ranking system of which 30 percent relies on how many retail clients staff manage to convert to online.
“Bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral is telling shop staff to sign up as many gamblers as possible to online accounts if they want to avoid being among 5,000 employees it plans to make redundant,” the Guardian report reads.
The decision on which shops to close over the next 18 to 24 months will be made following a 45-day “collective consultation” period, the internal communication apparently reads.
Betting shop trade union Community said the cuts would be “deeply worrying” for Ladbrokes employees, adding that front line staff should not bear the brunt of the impact.
“The company’s consultation document has caused real concern among our members, with many believing that decisions have already been made to target those workers in betting shops outside the city centres,” Tom Blenkinsop, operations director of betting shop trade union Community, told the Guardian.
“Ladbrokes must immediately engage with Community, the union for betting shop workers, to see if an alternative plan can be found to avoid job losses. The government also has a role to play, and must look at what support they can offer to workers whose jobs are at risk as an unintended consequence of changes to the law.”