Genting Poker Rooms to Close as British Coronavirus Lockdowns Bite

June 17th, 2020 | by Greg Shaun

The Genting Poker Series (GPS) won’t return in 2020, or ever, following reports that venues across the UK are to cease operations.

Genting Casino

The financial impact of coronavirus has forced Genting to shutter venues and cease all live poker operations in the UK. (Image: Casino Finder HQ)

Although unconfirmed by Genting at the time of writing, insiders have said the operator has closed all of its UK poker rooms.

One employee confirmed the situation to Pokernews, while another posted a farewell message on Facebook.

Sad Day for British Poker Community

British poker pro Jeff Kimber posted a social media update on the situation. Although he’s an ambassador for Grosvenor Poker, he’s a well-known face on the circuit. With contacts across the industry, he sent out his condolences to those affected by the closures.

“Very sad for the Genting poker staff, some good ones gone there. GPS events were great back in the day. Trips to Sheffield, Birmingham, and Southend will be missed,” Kimber wrote on Facebook.

Bricks and mortar casinos around the world are suffering because of coronavirus lockdowns. The UK has been in a state of lockdown since March 23. In anticipation of the move, Genting closed its poker rooms on March 21.

4,000 members of staff were subsequently furloughed, and, by its own admissions, it’s been “radio silence” ever since. COO of Genting UK Paul Willcock addressed the situations in statement to employees in early June.

Although he stopped short of announcing any plans, he warned that “very difficult” decisions were necessary to keep the business afloat. It’s since emerged that three Genting casinos will close.

As well as shuttering properties in Bristol, Torquay, and Margate, the latest reports suggest that poker rooms inside all Genting casinos will close permanently.

Genting Wounded but Surviving

The decision to close all poker rooms in the UK will not only lead to job losses but the end of the GPS. The mid-stakes poker tour has been around since 2012 and enjoyed one of its best seasons last year. However, with no venues to call its own, Genting will likely cancel the tour.

Elsewhere, the Genting Group has been forced to make similar cuts. In Asia, Genting Malaysia recently announced 3,000 job losses due to covid-19.

Fortunately for the company, it runs live venues and online sites in a number of countries. Therefore, it should come through the coronavirus pandemic wounded but alive.

However, that will provide little comfort to Genting’s poker room employee. Moreover, the news will leave a void in the British tournament scene that won’t be easily filled.


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