That's the funny thing about Christmas and Santa Claus. Parents love to take their children to the mall and put them up on old Santa's knee, yet they don't appear to consider that the guy in the suit is someone who is available to sit in a mall all day for a month out of the year, earning minimum wage. In many cases, that means unemployable in any conventional sense. I assume the malls require them to have police checks, to be sure they aren't perverts. That's simple CYA. But still, you can't be getting the cream of the job market for this.
Personally, my daughter can visit Santa at community events, played by a volunteer I know. I also have no problem with a professional Santa for hire. But I generally assume a mall Santa is going to be of the variety in that news item.
The majority of mall Santas these days are retired men, most of whom cultivate their beards all year round so they can play Santa. In fact, I can't recall the last time I saw one with a fake beard.
As for the news article, I can't decide if I'm amused or appalled. I'm leaning towards amused.