Crown stands down 95 per cent of its staff, secures $1b in debt

Crown Resorts has stood down 11,500 employees and secured more than $1 billion in fresh debt to help it endure the shutdown of its casino operations during the coronavirus pandemic.

The James Packer-backed casino giant said on Thursday it had progressively stood down around 95 per cent of its workforce since the health crisis unfolded.

Crown says it has stood down around 11,500 employees.Credit:Joe Armao

The company said it has given permanent workers two weeks pay and casual workers a $1000 lump sum to soften the blow, with workers also able to access leave entitlements.

Crown also said it had taken on $560 million in new debt from relationship banks, and a $460 million project finance facility to support the building of its new hotel and casino in Sydney.

Crown chief executive Ken Barton said the new debt, along with its remaining $500 million cash balance, "should enable us to weather the storm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic".

"We will continue with the construction of Crown Sydney which remains on track for completion progressively from the end of this year, absent any further impact relating to COVID-19," he said.

"As a result of today’s announcement, Crown is well placed to withstand an extended period of closure".

Mr Barton, Crown directors and "certain other senior management" would take a 20 per cent cut to fixed remuneration and fees until June 30, the company said.

The company said it will still pay its half-year dividend on Friday.

More to come

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