MGM Resorts hotel and casino chain to lay off 18,000 workers in the US
The MGM Resorts International hotel and casino chain has sent letters of termination to 18,000 workers across the United States who were temporarily suspended from employment as a result of numerous forced facility closures due to the pandemic, local media reports.
In those letters, Executive Director Bil Hornbuckle states, “Nothing hurts me more than sending news like this. The heart of this company is our employees and the international level of service you provide. Please know that your leadership team is working around the clock to find ways to grow our business and to welcome back more of our colleagues,” according to CNBC.
The news was very well received by investors and at midday the company’s shares on the Wall Street stock exchange rose by 5.46%.
MGM Resorts, specialized in high roller casino players, said it will extend its workers’ health benefits until September 30 and has promised that workers who are rehired before the end of the year will maintain their seniority.
The cut will mean a reduction of about a quarter of the chain’s workforce, which had about 68,000 employees at the beginning of the year.
In his message, the executive director insisted: “Although the immediate future remains uncertain, I really believe that the challenges we face today are not permanent.
The unemployment rate in the United States in July stood at 10.2%, after the loss of 1.8 million jobs in that month.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February, some 13 million people have lost their jobs in the U.S.
The employment level in Atlantic City casinos fell by 15% in July
According to data published by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), employment in the city’s nine casinos fell by more than 15% last month, when 24,880 jobs were reported.
The Press of Atlantic City says this figure is another factor that reflects the “negative impact of the new coronavirus on industry and the local economy.
Atlantic City casinos employed 4,261 fewer people in July 2020 compared to the same month last year, according to industry data. The 24,880 jobs reported “include a significant number of employees laid off by COVID-19,” according to the GD, suggesting that the actual number of casino employees out of work is much higher.
Thousands of casino workers are listed as “paper” employees, but restrictions on indoor dining and beverage service mean that many people do not have a job to return to.
Industry data shows 14,852 full-time and 1,446 part-time positions in July. The other 8,582 are laid-off and seasonal workers.
Prior to the industry shutdown on May 16, Atlantic City’s nine gambling establishments had reported 26,450 jobs in February, a drop of more than 1,200 positions from the previous year.
The closure of the casinos ended a 21-month streak of year-over-year revenue growth. Even after the industry almost completely reopened in early July, casinos struggled due to capacity limits and state-imposed restrictions, and reported a 23% drop in gaming revenue.
Experts say the challenges facing the casino industry come as no surprise.