Crown Resorts has stood down 11,500 employees – 95 per cent of its staff – because of the coronavirus restrictions affecting its casinos in Melbourne and Perth, but it still will pay shareholders their interim dividend.

The gaming company said it had made an ex gratia payment of two weeks’ salary to full-time and part-time workers and given $1,000 to eligible casual workers, who will also be able to draw down on entitlements such as annual leave.

Chief executive Ken Barton and other senior managers have taken a 20 per cent temporary pay cut.

“Crown has registered for the Commonwealth government’s JobKeeper payment and is currently working through the implementation of this scheme,” the company said on Thursday.

The stand downs will save Crown $20 million to $30 million a month. Mr Barton called them “tough but necessary”.

“I have a deep gratitude to our employees for their understanding and commitment during this painful and highly uncertain time,” he said.

Crown said it was in a strong financial position, with about $500 million in cash and the ability to borrow more than $1 billion.

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It will pay its partially franked 30 cent interim dividend on Friday.

At 1130 AEST on Thursday, Crown shares were down 0.24 per cent to $8.24

AAP