Las Vegas Strip Casinos Mulling Permanent Layoffs, Notify State Officials

Posted on: July 7, 2020, 01:42h.

Last updated on: July 7, 2020, 03:21h.

Numerous Las Vegas Strip casinos have notified the state regarding permanent job reductions, as well as potential further cuts to their staff, due to the ongoing economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.


Jobs are disappearing from the Las Vegas Strip, as the coronavirus has greatly damaged the gaming industry. (Image: Hard Rock International)

In June, several casino operators informed the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation’s (DETR) Employment Security Division of mass layoffs. The filings are made in accordance with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which requires companies with more than 100 employees to provide impacted workers with a 60-day advanced notice of their terminations.

Las Vegas casinos that sent WARN letters to employees and the state include Sahara, Treasure Island (TI), and M Resort. Trump International, a non-gaming hotel owned by President Donald Trump’s family and billionaire Phil Ruffin, additionally filed a WARN notice.

Reno casinos planning to let go of workers include Harrah’s Reno –- which is being sold and transformed into a mixed-use complex –- and Peppermill Resort Casino.

Nevada Unemployment Surges

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released a record-breaking jobs report last week. The nation added 4.8 million jobs, far surpassing expectations. The report piled on to the 2.5 million jobs added in May.

The nation’s unemployment rate fell from 13.3 percent to 11.1 percent. Nevada’s unemployment rate stands much higher at 25.3 percent as of May (state-by-state unemployment numbers will be released in the coming weeks).

Employment in leisure and hospitality rose sharply [in June],” said federal labor officials. The BLS revealed the industry added 2.1 million jobs last month, and another 1.5 million in food and drinking services.

While hospitality is slowing getting back to some sense of normal, the filings in Las Vegas hint that companies remain greatly concerned with their near- and long-term outlooks.

DETR said it has experienced an uptick in unemployment insurance claims. New claims totaled 11,110 for the week ending June 27. More than 528,000 claims have been filed since March 14 in Nevada.

WARNings 

M Resort told the state that 328 employees will be let go on August 15. M Resort parent company, Penn National Gaming, told DETR that corporate jobs at the company’s Las Vegas offices will also be slashed.

Treasure Island told Nevada employment officials that it will be permanently laying off 414 employees effective August 14. Sahara Las Vegas did not specify numbers, but told the state it “plans to implement a layoff” at the Strip property on September 18, 2020.

Casinos were hoping it wasn’t going to come to this.

“When we recently learned we would be able to reopen on June 4, we had hoped we would be able to bring the majority of employees back to work in the next few months,” said Cary Berner, VP of human resources at Sahara. “Though we have been able to reopen to some extent, we are required to comply with a number of protective measures that will substantially hamper our business.”

“We anticipate a continued significant decrease in revenue; cancellation and non-booking of the hotel, restaurant, and entertainment events; and significant postponement and cancellation of convention bookings,” the Sahara exec concluded.

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