After several months of relaxed casino business to stop the spread of the Coronavirus across the USA, gaming floors are opening to full capacity. Yet, these casinos are not able to run at 100 percent capacity. They lack the committed workforce that is used to propel operations smoothly.
Casinos in several states, including Nevada and Massachusetts, are having a hard time filling vacant positions. Thousands of staff were laid down for they did not have work to do during the economic downturn.
Casinos in Las Vegas Are Short-Staffed
According to Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Workers Union, Geoconda Arguello-Kline, 98 percent of Culinary Union members were laid off. Geoconda said in a statement that only 50 percent of the laid-off employees are back to work.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the unemployment rate in Vegas is at 9 percent. This is the second-leading unemployment rate in the USA. Contrary to zeal witnessed in Las Vegas business where demand for rooms and restaurant reservations and people wanting to visit is high, businesses cannot keep up.
Visitors have to wait much longer to get a reservation as there are a few staff working to make things run smoothly. Although the unemployment rate has declined since the reopening of casinos, many casinos are yet to fill all their positions.
MGM Resorts has been holding weekly job fairs to add up on their staff. But, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal, the casino has a shortage of staff.
The vice president of the casino said the gaming facility had 70,000 employees as of December 31, 2020. Randy Goldberg confirmed that the brand has 42,000 employees this month.
Goldberg said that the brand did not want to open all facilities at 100 percent without staff to serve their guests as expected. He also confirmed that the casino’s operations look stretched, insisting that no one expected that the casino would pick up quickly.
East Coast Is Also Struggling
The labor shortage is not only happening in Las Vegas. The struggles are also seen on the east coast. For example, Plainridge Park in Massachusetts is lacking staff to help on the slots parlor.
According to the casino’s general manager, Northscott Grounsell, the casino is posting about available vacancies. He added that they are going an extra mile to ensure former employees know of the available opportunities.
The 125,000 square foot MGM Springfield is not immune to staff shortages either. The General Counsel and Vice President of the casino told The Lowell Sun that the casino is bringing people to the entertainment, beverage, and food environment.
Yet, despite their efforts, bars and restaurants want more staff. Seth Stratton also said there is high competition to get back employees.
Casinos’ Efforts To Fill Their Vacant Positions
Last month, the MGM on the Las Vegas strip introduced the “Show Your Vaxx” campaign. The plan was to encourage employees to upload evidence of their vaccination to MGM internal portal to win various prizes. The casino created on-site vaccination clinics for people working on the Las Vegas Strip.
The MGM President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle promised to continue working to vaccinate more people. The brand is vigilant in complying with health and safety measures for employees, guests, and the community. Bill also said that the resort was committed to doing its part in curbing the coronavirus.
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