MGM Resorts International continues to let go of thousands of its employees due to a problematic industry situation caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Monday was the most challenging day for the company as it had to lay off a total of 18,000 all over the US, which is approximately a quarter of all staff employed before the pandemic.
MGM Resorts is one of the largest American hospitality and gaming companies, with properties in several states, including Mississippi, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New York. Apart from the US, MGM is present on the Asian market, with overseas properties in Macau.
Hornbuckle Remains Hopeful
According to MGM, the company is required by law to send layoff notices to all people who were furloughed and haven’t worked for six months. However, the CEO of MGM Resorts, Bill Hornbuckle, stated in Wall Street Journal that the company will do its best to rehire its former employees as soon as there’s room for that.
Hornbuckle believes that the challenges MGM Resorts (and the entire gambling industry) face is not permanent. Moreover, he added that the “fundamentals of (our) industry, (our) company, and (our) communities would not change.” He also said that things such as sports, concerts, and “awe-inspiring entertainment” remain on the company’s horizon.
The company’s earnings report is not great, but Hornbuckle believes that the real challenge is the uncertainty that the coronavirus brings to the industry. MGM’s CEO thinks, however, that some of the fundamental goals of the company, as well as the entire industry, will “remain intact.”
MGM Resorts had to furlough 62,000 workers out of 70,000 at the start of the coronavirus crisis. This happened when Nevada officials decided to shut down all casinos located in this state. The shutdowns took place on March 17, but casinos reopened again in June. Nevertheless, all casinos in the US currently operate below their maximum capacity, and that resulted in layoffs all over the industry. Moreover, two of MGM’s properties — one in New York and the other one in Las Vegas — are still closed.
Last week, a million US citizens applied for unemployment benefits, with the total number being 14.5 million. This is a huge increase compared to the same period last year when 1.7 million US residents were on the unemployed list.
The coronavirus disease has so far affected more than six million people in the US and more than 26 million people in the world. Despite all of that, most of the industries in the US (and the world) are re-starting, including the gambling industry, and most of the land-based gambling properties are required to work at 50% capacity, including the ones in Las Vegas.
This is definitely the low point for MGM, but also for the entire gambling industry, which will take time to recover properly in the future and start operating as usual.
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