COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is taking its toll on the entire planet, and the US gambling industry is no exception. Many casinos nationwide had to close their doors to visitors to prevent the virus from spreading, meaning a lot of people were left with no job.
Caesars Entertainment, one of the giants in the industry, stated that 90% of its staff would be furloughed due to the virus. All of them are domestic US employees.
Although there were no exact numbers mentioned in the press release, the spokesman for the company, Richard Broome, stated that “tens of thousands” of employees will go on temporary leave.
Moreover, Broome added that the company would move to “the minimum workforce needed to maintain basic operations.” In other words, only about 10% of the company workers will retain their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the official statistics, Caesars currently employs approximately 64,000 people in the US, meaning that about 57,000 workers will have to face a tough period ahead of them.
All of the employees who were furloughed will remain the employees of the company. Caesars paid the workers for the first two weeks after the casinos were closed. Employees can ask for paid time off to receive additional pay. As for the employees of Nevada, their pay was to run through April 3.
Health Insurance for a Certain Period
All employees who are part of the company’s health benefit plans will continue to receive their health insurance premiums for some time. They will receive them until June 30 or until they return to work — depending on which one of the two comes first.
Nevada ordered all casinos to shut down due to COVID-19, and the ban is set to last until April 30, at least. However, it may be extended until further notice, so there’s no way to tell how long the casino shutdown is going to last.
CEO Tony Rodio stated that they were taking “difficult but necessary steps” to make sure that the financial position of the company is protected and that it would be able to recover when circumstances allow it.
Caesars was one of the last companies to announce furlough for their staff, but the majority of its competitors were not as stingy. For example, Sands and Wynn Resorts decided to put their staff on furlough a little bit earlier, but they also extended their pay.
For example, Wynn decided to pay their staff until May 15, whereas Sheldon Adelson hopes that his company would be able to pay its staff during the furlough.
The situation for the industry is one step from being described as grave. There’s still room for improvement if the lockdown doesn’t last for too long. On the other hand, if the casinos remain closed for a long time, they would need a lot of time to recover.
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