The human cost of Evolution Gaming’s acquisition of NetEnt has been revealed with unconfirmed rumours suggesting that as many as 500 employees have been told to stay at home and await further instructions – that’s as much as 50% of NetEnt’s complete workforce.
Reports emerging online suggest that the firm’s live studio in Qormi has been closed with immediate effect. On Tuesday NetEnt workers were told to go home and await an email that would have more information about their future employment.
A spokesperson from Evolution has confirmed that the Qormi studio will be closed, and that redundancy proceedings have begun with the individuals involved.
They say in life that timing has everything, and this redundancy bombshell comes just weeks after NetEnt revealed they were planning to increase the size and scale of their studio in Qormi to meet increasing demand, with an extension to their live blackjack offering expected.
But those ideas have now been scrapped, and the Economy Ministry in Malta has already begun to identify new career opportunities for the NetEnt employees likely to be out of work following Evolution’s decision.
Casino Behemoth Given the Nod
It was some £1.6 billion that Evolution, perhaps the premier live casino provider on the planet, would need to fork out to acquire NetEnt’s assets and intellectual property.
The proposed move was also reported to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK given that Evolution would now have a particularly dominant position in the live gaming sphere.
Back in September, the CMA confirmed that it was launching its own investigation into the potential merger, with a consultation period welcoming the thoughts of casino industry stakeholders.
And after a nail-biting eight weeks for all involved, it was announced by the CMA that they had cleared the acquisition of NetEnt by Evolution freeing those involved to sign off on the final terms of the deal.
NetEnt were arguably their main competitor in live gaming – they don’t need to worry about them anymore it seems, and now Evolution have a considerable footprint in slots gaming too given that the Swedish firm was also considered one of the leading software houses around.
Evolution Hit the Ground Running
The behind the scenes operation began on December 1, with the acquisition formerly confirmed as Evolution Gaming and NetEnt came together to become known simply as Evolution.
The takeover has been confirmed, with Evolution now owning a 98.6% stake in NetEnt, and the Red Tiger development company has also been taken on by the buyer.
Evolution’s senior management team have also seized control for decision-making within NetEnt, and their first move – to close the firm’s live casino studio – could result in estimated savings of €30 million per year.
Therese Hillman, the CEO of NetEnt, will continue in her role until the end of the first quarter of 2021, when she will leave her position.