© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Visitors to Sydney’s Star Casino play electronic slot machines, February 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed

(Reuters) – Australia’s Star Entertainment Group Ltd announced job cuts and reduced its annual operating earnings forecast on Wednesday, as the casino operator experiences significant and rapid deterioration in operating conditions.

The company will lay-off about 500 full-time equivalent employees across the group, cancel short-term and other incentives for fiscal 2023, among others.

Star’s Sydney and Gold Coast casinos in particular are facing adverse operating conditions, with earnings taking a hit owing to compounding impact of regulatory operating restrictions and low consumer spending behaviour, Star said.

“To put the operating environment into perspective, the group’s current earnings performance is at unprecedented low levels, excluding the COVID-19 period,” the company said.

If current conditions persist, Star said it expects underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for fiscal 2023 to be between A$280 million ($188.44 million) and A$310 million, compared with the prior expectation of between A$330 million and A$360 million.

($1 = 1.4859 Australian dollars)

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