MGM Resorts has laid off at least 18,000 of its casino employees due to the pandemic-led crisis, its CEO Bill Hornbuckle announced.
Taking effect from August 31, the layoffs will affect the employees across the United States, as MGM has hotel-casinos in many states. As of now, it is not clear exactly how many of the layoffs will affect Las Vegas casinos‘ employees. Overall, the number of 18,000 layoff accounts for a whopping quarter of the American global hospitality company’s US staff
The CEO said in a letter that the casino industry continues to be hugely impacted by the effects of the pandemic, even though MGM was able to partially resume its operations.
“It has been almost six months since we temporarily shut down all our US properties due to the pandemic and were forced to furlough almost our whole domestic workforce. While we have safely reopened many of our properties and have returned thousands of our colleagues to work, our industry continues to be impacted by the COVID-19, and we have not returned to full operating capacity.”
MGM had prior indicated that it would lay off most of its entertainment staff in the wake of the cancellation of live events. Also, there was no audience allowed at its shows in Las Vegas and other cities.
However, Hornbuckle left some optimism for those furloughed, by adding that they would on the company’s “recall list”. He said that the employees who have been laid-off on August 31 could be called back based on business needs, position, and seniority.
Meanwhile, MGM Grand Detroit layoffs impacted 1100 employees: MGM Springfield bid a farewell to 1000 employees, while MGM National Harbor (in Maryland) furloughed 779 employees
MGM also plans to extend health benefits by the end of September.
Unemployment has been witnessing a drastic increase in the US, and the casino market is no exception. In April, as many as 206,000 workers across 219 casinos in Nevada filed for unemployment. Unfortunately, Nevada has borne the brunt of the pandemic-related closures in the country as no tourists are turning up to Las Vegas.
In his letter, Hornbuckle expressed optimism that the situation will normalize after all. He admitted that the current situation remains uncertain, but the challenges we’re facing today will not last long. He added that the fundamentals of our industry, our company (MGM), and that the community will not change.
“Concerts, sports, and spectacular entertainment remain on our horizon,” Hornbuckle assured that “We will bounce back from this stronger and better than ever.” He said that MGM will continue in its mission to entertain the world, and about it, they all should be certain.