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How Evolution’s acquisition of NetEnt affected hundreds of employees

  • by Stelly in Industry
  • December 22, 2020

After the merger of NetEnt and Evolution, hundreds of employees stood to lose their jobs but the Malta GWU stepped in.


The casino industry is known to be one filled with movers and shakers. Never settling and always changing, it’s not unusual to find big names in the industry, shaking up the status quo.

In a recent acquisition of NetEnt, Evolution made decisions that affected more than just their bottom line and possible income. Instead, it’s affected hundreds of staff members and their families in a time where finding a new job is not an easy task.

After finally acquiring NetEnt, after months of negotiating and waiting, Evolution announced that they would be shutting down NetEnt Live casino games immediately. But where would that leave staff members – especially in the middle of a pandemic?

Staff members were simply told to go home and await further information – with unsettling results.

Malta unions stand up for NetEnt workers

More than 300 workers were told that they would be let go with the merger of Evolution and NetEnt. The obviously devasting announcement was met with backlash by the General Workers’ Union for Malta.

On the 7th of December, the GWU informed Evolution and NetEnt that they had failed to acknowledge the trade union as an employee representative. The union said it would take industrial action as the companies also made no attempt to avoid these redundancies.

The GWU stated that employees were not informed of these redundancies in detail and in writing. All of these issues went against standing regulations – and the GWU was not going to take this situation lying down.

Settled out of court

After the GWU’s threat and subsequent industrial dispute, it was decided that no employees could officially be let go until a hearing on the 17th of December.

Now it has been reported that the companies have reached a settlement outside of court with the GWU. While it’s not a perfect solution, a total of 40 staff members will keep their jobs with a further 60 receiving work elsewhere in Malta.

Unfortunately, layoffs were still inevitable as the shutting down of an entire sector of NetEnt would mean that there are those who are no longer needed.

“We negotiated intensely and with determination; we saved jobs to the extent that this was possible,” commented GWU secretary general, Josef Bugeja on the settlement. “We ensured that all those who are being let go are suitably compensated.”

A spanner in the works

When companies such as NetEnt and Evolution merger, many in the industry praise the situation and rightly so. It’s exciting to see top companies work together to create new ways to play in the industry

However, it very often isn’t revealed what these acquisitions and mergers mean for the employees at these companies. What are the repercussions for two (or more) companies becoming one?

This particular instance has been an eye-opener for many and it goes without saying that we’ll all be paying closer attention to industry news such as this in the future. Does this mean that mergers and acquisitions shouldn’t take place? Definitely, not.

But the GWU has shown that standing up for those wronged can make a real difference when necessary.

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