The gaming industry in the southern American state of Louisiana reportedly lost revenues worth approximately $440 million in March and April due to being completely shuttered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a Thursday report from The Daily Advertiser newspaper, this figure came from the Gaming Enforcement Division of the Louisiana State Police and was a consequence of every one of the racetracks, video gaming establishments and casinos in ‘The Pelican State’ being closed for an almost nine-week period from March 17.
The Daily Advertiser reported that this shuttering only came to an end on May 15 when Louisiana casinos were permitted to re-open at 25% capacity. The newspaper explained that this prohibition was raised to 50% from last Friday although the industry could still see its eventual statewide coronavirus-related deficit top $500 million.
The fallout from the coronavirus-induced closures has reportedly also prompted Boyd Gaming Corporation to announce that it intends to temporarily lay-off around 1,500 local employees beginning from the first day of next month. The Las Vegas-headquartered firm purportedly used an official Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) letter to detail that the redundancies are to take place at its venues in the Louisiana communities of Vinton, Amelia, Kenner, Opelousas and Shreveport after they chalked up combined losses for March and April of over $70.2 million.
It was additionally reported that Boyd recently recorded a first-quarter loss of $18.3 million after logging a profit of $45.5 million for the same three-month period last year. The operator’s Corporate Human Resources Vice-President, Chris Smith, purportedly used the communication to detail that the lay-offs are to effect between 25% and 60% of workers at each one of the five Louisiana locations across roles including dealers, cashiers and food service personal as well as spa, security and custodial workers.
Reportedly read a statement from Smith…
“The pandemic’s effects on our business remain unpredictable. Guidance issued by public health authorities and government agencies regarding requirements and precautions that will be necessary to protect our team members, customers and communities as we re-open remain subject to constant updates and modifications as officials learn more about the pandemic.”
Furthermore, the coronavirus-induced lockdown claimed its inaugural permanent casino casualty on May 18 when the struggling DiamondJacks Casino Hotel pronounced that it would not be re-opening. The riverboat facility from Los Angeles-based investment vehicle Peninsula Pacific was purportedly just two days shy of its 26th birthday but has long been the subject of relocation rumors including a 2018 scheme that was to have seen its license transferred to a new property located near the small Tangipahoa Parish city of Hammond.