Caesars Entertainment Announces Indefinite Furloughs Due to COVID-19

Caesars Entertainment announced Thursday evening a broad-based furlough program caused by the coronavirus pandemic that will affect nearly all of the employees at its 36 US venues, as well as its administrative offices.

Caesars Entertainment announced Thursday that about 90 percent of its US workforce will be furloughed, as the company’s casinos remain shut down by the coronavirus pandemic. (Image:: WikimediaImages)

It comes as government officials across the country have extended shutdowns because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Caesars in a statement said it’s unknown when the casinos will reopen. As such, the company is shifting to the minimum workforce necessary to maintain its current operations.

In all, the company expects about 90 percent of its approximately 65,000 employees to be furloughed.

Given the closure of our properties, we are taking difficult but necessary steps to protect the company’s financial position and its ability to recover when circumstances allow us to reopen and begin welcoming our guests and employees back to our properties,” Tony Rodio, Caesars CEO said in the statement. “The company entered this crisis with strong operating performance, which, combined with the steps we are taking now, are critical to the future of our company.”

Those selected for furloughs will remain employees of the company.

It’s possible the furloughed employees may return under new ownership. Reports have circulated that Eldorado Resorts is working to close its $17.3 billion deal with Caesars by June. The deal, which would give Eldorado control over the company, still requires regulatory approval in Indiana, Nevada, and New Jersey.

Other Gaming Companies Paying Workers For Now

Furloughed employees will receive their pay for the first two weeks, the company said. In addition, employees may use their available paid time off after that. Caesars also said that it would pay the health insurance premiums for those furloughed through June 30 or the day they resume working, whichever day comes first.

On Wednesday, Las Vegas Sands Founder, Chairman, and CEO Sheldon Adelson, in an op-ed piece that ran in the New York Post, said he will pay his 10,000 US employees currently off because of the coronavirus pandemic for two months. The gaming mogul implored other executives to help as many of their workers for as long as possible.

“The coming weeks will be tough, and the months that follow will be unsteady,” he wrote. “To my fellow business leaders, let us lead by example.”

Earlier this week, Wynn Resorts announced its 15,000 workers in Las Vegas and Boston would remain on the payroll until May 15. That will give its salaried, hourly, and part-time employees two months of wages dating to when Wynn’s casinos first closed.

Stations Casinos has announced it will offer normal pay and insurance benefits to its hourly and salaried full-time workers through April 30.

MGM Resorts International, Nevada’s largest employer, offers an emergency relief fund for employees. That fund has more than $4 million available thanks to donations from the company, singer Bruno Mars, and the estate of MGM founder Kirk Kerkorian.

IGT Furloughs 2,300 in North America

Caesars wasn’t the only gaming company to make a personnel announcement Thursday.

Earlier in the day, IGT Global Solutions Corp. revealed it would furlough about 2,300 workers in North America, as the gaming technology provider said the coronavirus has had a significant impact on its clients.

“We are taking specific actions to bring our operations in line with customer and player demand,” Chairman Robert Vincent said in the statement. “These include base salary reductions for senior leaders and the implementation of short-term furlough programs for certain employee groups.”

The company said it expects the furloughs to last for eight weeks starting next week. Affected employees will continue to receive their health insurance and other welfare benefits for the duration of the furlough.

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