Mississippi Casino Employees Face Job Loss At End Of August, Per MGM Resorts

Posted on July 30, 2020 - Last Updated on August 24, 2020

MGM Resorts has notified its employees that ongoing casino layoffs due to the coronavirus pandemic may soon become permanent for some of them.

This week, MGM employees received letters indicating that if an employee is not called back to work by August 31, the employee “will be separated from the company.”

The list of casinos potentially affected includes two in Mississippi. The Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica and the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi are both MGM properties.

Lack of entertainment events prime cause for layoffs

Both casinos closed in mid-March as part of the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. The Gold Strike then reopened in late May and the Beau Rivage reopened in early June.

Both casinos implemented extra safety protocols and are operating at 50% capacity. Both also have avoided scheduling concerts or other events with large crowds.

MGM’s letter cited concern over the lack of entertainment events affecting the status of many employees. The company also pledged to remain communicative with employees regarding their status going forward.

“We’re continuing to coordinate with public officials and look forward to the time when we can bring back employees to support our entertainment offerings and relaunch entertainment for our guests,” said the letter.

MGM has been working with various companies to provide temporary jobs for their out-of-work employees, including Amazon and Walmart. Currently furloughed employees will also continue to receive health coverage through August 31.

MGM also has an emergency grant fund available to help employees cover the following:

  • groceries
  • rent
  • house payments
  • utilities
  • other essential expenses

More than $14 million has been raised for the fund, about $6 million of which was donated by MGM Resorts. Recipients will remain eligible to receive assistance from the fund through Nov. 29.

MGM Resorts seeking remedies for difficult year

Much like the entire casino and gambling industry, MGM has been hit hard by the pandemic. MGM Resorts International shares decreased 49.5% over the first half of the year.

One of the world’s largest entertainment and hospitality companies, MGM Resorts has properties all over the globe including casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Macau. In addition to the two Mississippi properties, MGM also has properties in:

  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • New York

MGM announcement comes amid layoffs at other MS casinos

MGM’s announcement comes not long after Boyd Gaming similarly found it necessary to let go of more than 6,000 employees, including about 900 employed by the IP Casino Resort in Biloxi.

Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Tunica had almost 250 layoffs in July.

The Boyd layoffs took place during the first half of July. They affected casinos in 10 different states and about 25% of its total workforce.

As with the MGM properties, most of Boyd’s casinos have now reopened, but with restrictions causing a significant impact on revenue.

Employees at several other Mississippi casinos have suffered layoffs as well.

In mid-May another Biloxi casino, Boomtown Casino Biloxi, laid off nearly 150 employees.

Meanwhile in August, layoffs will come at Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast in Bay St. Louis (nearly 170 workers), Hollywood Casino Tunica (just over 130), and at 1st Jackpot Casino Tunica (almost 50).

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Martin Harris

Martin Harris is a writer and teacher who has reported on poker, online gambling, and sports betting since the mid-2000s. Once a full-time academic (Ph.D., English), he currently teaches part-time in the American Studies program at UNC Charlotte. His book Poker & Pop Culture was published by D&B Books in 2019.

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