Eleven days after being ordered to close in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and yesterday reportedly saw most of the nine casinos in Atlantic City finally provide their employees with temporary layoff notices.
According to a Thursday report from The Press of Atlantic City newspaper, the move means that approximately 16,000 former casino workers will now be able to receive unemployment benefits in the face of growing uncertainty as to when the industry will be allowed to fully re-open.
The newspaper reported that the mass Atlantic City layoffs followed the emergence of figures showing that a record 3.3 million Americans had applied for unemployment benefits over the course of the previous week. It detailed that the one-week tally for New Jersey stood at about 155,000 people, which was 16 times higher than for the previous seven-day period, with many experts now predicting that the reckoning for ‘The Garden State’ could well reach 379,000 by the start of June.
The Press of Atlantic City reported that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (pictured) had earlier ordered every one of the state’s casinos to provide their laid-off employees with two weeks’ compensation as well as extensions to their health benefits. Although workers at the Tropicana Casino and Resort Atlantic City subsequently had this stretch doubled to a full month, staff at the remaining eight venues are purportedly largely set to see these provisions dry up from Sunday.
The newspaper reported that the casino industry in the United States has been left reeling by an almost absolute shutdown designed to help stop the spread of a highly-infectious coronavirus strain that has so far killed over 25,000 people globally. The move from the properties in Atlantic City purportedly means that their former workers will now be able to have recourse to public assistance so as to better provide for themselves and their families.
Joe Lupo, President for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, reportedly told The Press of Atlantic City that his 1,970-room venue remains ‘committed to our team members during these unprecedented times’ and is endeavouring to ‘ensure that our communication has been open and direct’.
Lupo reportedly told the newspaper…
“Team members furloughed and applying for unemployment will be able to take advantage of the new stimulus package until our property re-opens. We are looking forward to having our team back on property for a busy summer.”