COVID-19 Pandemic Causes More Job Loss In Casino Industry

Most of America’s casinos have reopened, albeit in a limited capacity, but the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc on the gaming industry as thousands of layoffs were announced in several larger markets.
Casinos in Las Vegas, Louisiana, and Mississippi announced earlier this week that nearly 3,000 casino workers will be laid off in the coming months. The majority of the layoffs came from properties owned by Penn National Gaming.
An undisclosed number of workers at Penn National’s M Resort and Tropicana Casino received notice that they would be out of work effective August 15. The two casinos are the only Nevada properties owned by the gaming giant.
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires businesses with at least 100 full-time employees to give advance notice of mass layoffs or a closing.
The other Las Vegas layoffs came from independently owned Las Vegas Strip casinos.
Sahara Las Vegas also laid off an undisclosed amount of employees and Treasure Island let go of another 414 staff members, according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal report. A spokesman for Sahara told the daily newspaper that unclear future of the business, thanks to the pandemic, was the reason for the layoffs.
The trend is the same in the southeast as casinos on the Mississippi gulf coast have laid off 1,219 employees who were previously furloughed.
Boomtown Biloxi laid off 149 workers, IP Casino Resort Biloxi let go of 903 and Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis added another 167 to the total, according to the Biloxi Sun-Herald. Penn National Gaming owns the Boomtown Casino chain and stated in its WARN filing that all of the layoffs were due to the public health crisis.
“These layoffs at Penn National Gaming are the unfortunate result of COVID-19 related business circumstances that were sudden, dramatic and beyond our control,” the company wrote in the WARN notice.
The most recent round of Louisiana casino layoffs come almost exclusively from Penn National properties.
Boomtown New Orleans, Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City, Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel in St. Mary Parish and L’Auberge Casino locations in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles are laying off another 1,375 employees, according to a report from Lafayette’s The Daily Advertiser. Penn National owns four of the five casinos listed. Cypress Bayou Casino is owned by the Chitimacha tribe.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly 3,000 Louisiana casino employees have lost their jobs.