Rank Croupiers To Strike As UK Cost Of Living Crisis Bites

September 7, 2022
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​​​​​​​The Rank Group is “disappointed” after the announcement of planned strike action at its London Grosvenor Casinos, as the UK gambling industry prepares for impact from the current growing cost of living crisis.

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The Rank Group is “disappointed” after the announcement of planned strike action at its London Grosvenor Casinos, as the UK gambling industry prepares for impact from the current growing cost of living crisis.

The strikes will start at 6pm on September 9 and end at 6am on September 12 and will take place at The Victoria, The Rialto, The Gloucester, The Park Tower, The Golden Horseshoe, The St Giles and The Barracuda.

A spokesperson for Rank blamed the strike on a small number of colleagues in four of its eight London casinos.

“Against the backdrop of an extremely challenging trading environment for Rank, and for the sector as a whole, we have made a strong offer which we believe fairly addresses the current cost of living crisis. We expect all of our casinos to be open for business as usual this weekend,” the spokesperson for Rank told VIXIO Gambling Compliance.

In June 2022, Rank Group saw its shares take a hit after it lowered its underlying operating profit expectations due to the recent performance in Grosvenor venues and continued inflationary cost pressures.

In a trading update on June 20, Rank Group said it expected operating profit to be approximately £40m for the year ending June 30, 2022, lower than its previous estimate of between £47m and £55m.

In a separate trading update in April, Rank warned that it was seeing fewer people visit its UK venues.

Around 150 workers who are members of Unite the Union, across Grosvenor Casinos’ seven venues in London, voted 91 percent in favour of rejecting retention bonus payments of £600 and £800, calling them “totally inadequate”.

Unite claims the Rank Group has made £74m in profit so far this year.

Over the past 12 months, VIXIO understands that Rank has increased pay by an average of 11.1 percent across all Grosvenor casinos’ London-based roles, followed by two retention bonuses totaling £1400.

The workers are said to be mainly croupiers and dealers, but also include food and beverage waiting and kitchen staff.

Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, called Grosvenor Casinos “another big money company that is raking it in but refusing to pay its workers a wage that they can live on”.

“It’s just not acceptable and this huge vote for action underscores the sense of anger across this workforce,” Graham said, pledging to give the workers the union’s “full support”.

Unite covers numerous industries and has over 1.4m members.

Trade group the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) recently called on the UK Prime Minister to protect the hospitality and leisure sector from what it warns could be “catastrophic” energy price hikes.

These energy price hikes are a key issue in the UK’s current growing cost of living crisis, which is being underpinned by rapidly rising inflation rates.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, warned that the “cost of simply doing business is rising at an exponential rate. If urgent action isn’t taken soon, continued energy price increases could have a catastrophic impact across the hospitality and leisure sector, including hitting our members”, in a press release on August 22.

Newly appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss and her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng have promised imminent action to address the current energy crisis.

However, those pushing for widespread reform to gambling regulations in the long-awaited Gambling Act review white paper may be less happy with the appointment of Truss, as she has a history of voting against reforming gambling.

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