Less than two years after Flutter Entertainment acquired the online bingo operator Tombola, which you can read about in our Tombola review, more than 200 jobs are under threat at the company.
Tombola was purchased by Flutter for £402 million in November 2021 and at the time, the new owners promised not to cut any jobs, with a company spokesperson saying:
“We are committed to running Tombola as a distinct company within the UK and Ireland division. We are not in the business of making any changes.”
However, earlier this month, the company revealed that it is engaged in talks regarding possible job cuts at Tombola Bingo.
“Today we have communicated a number of proposed changes to our customer service teams following an extensive operational review. As a result, a number of colleagues will now take part in a formal consultation process that will include significant opportunities for redeployment within the business, but will also unfortunately lead to a number of redundancies. The colleagues involved in this process have been informed and our priority is to support them and their teams through this period of change.”
In an attempt to mitigate the impact of the news, Flutter Entertainment emphasised the company’s safer gambling credentials, highlighting how it has set a maximum bet of £2 on all online bingo and arcade games. The company also said that it has plans to continue investing in the North East and Sunderland.
According to reports in local press, 250 jobs are at risk at Tombola, including those who work in the office and home workers. Although, the company does insist that there will be opportunities for redeployment and that new roles will be created in the North East.
In the time since Flutter’s acquisition of Tombola, employee numbers at Tombola have increased. At the end of 2021, Tombola employed 768 people, with 629 of them based in the UK. Today, the total number of employees is 847, with 706 in the UK.
While jobs may not currently be safe at Tombola, there has long been an emphasis on safer gambling at the operator. It was the first major UK operator that enforced mandatory betting and deposit limits.
The company has been recognised for this, most recently winning the 2021 EGR Operator “Safer Gambling Operator” award. The site offers a range of ‘safeplay’ tools to help players ensure that they do not develop gambling problems. These include deposit limits, stake limits, time limits, cooling-off periods, a self-exclusion scheme, and more.
When Flutter Entertainment acquired Tombola, its chief executive Peter Jackson said,
“Tombola is a business we have long admired for its product expertise, highly recreational customer base and focus on sustainable play. The brand aligns closely with Flutter’s safer gambling strategy, a key area of focus for us.”
It is unlikely that the job cuts will affect Tombola’s claim to be ‘Britain’s Biggest Bingo Site’. It is understood that Tombola is to cut the number of chat moderators from 250 to just over 100 and that there may also be cuts to ‘safeplay’ advisors and customer support agents.
The online bingo site offers its members a huge range of games, including 90, 80, 75, 50, 40 and 30 ball bingo in various themed rooms, with ticket prices starting at just a couple of pence. There are also a number of ‘unique’ bingo games, which are only available at Tombola and offer a different take on the game.
While the job cuts at Tombola Bingo will be disappointing for those who work there, it is unlikely that players at the site will notice any changes and there is certainly no suggestion that the site may be shut down.