After closing “indefinitely” on March 17, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and updated Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino has now announced that beginning April 13, it will temporarily furlough “casino and government employees.”
According to local news media, Forest County Potawatomi Chairman Ned Daniels, Jr. said in the Friday, April 10 announcement…
“The Tribe has been working cooperatively with state and local governments to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This includes the closing of our gaming facilities in Milwaukee and Forest County that fund our tribal government.
Payroll not sustainable:
Since the closing of our gaming facilities in mid-March, we have continued to pay all of our casino and government employees. Unfortunately, we cannot continue to sustain these payments so we have issued furlough notices to those affected casino and government employees.
We fully expect to reopen our business doors and call our employees back as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that the Potowatomi Hotel & Casino said that the temporary furlough will include 90 percent of its 2,700 team members.
Employees of the casino located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin have been receiving paychecks from the federally recognized Forest County Potawatomi tribe since closing last month when it was announced that operations would be suspended at 5pm on March 17. The shut-down included both the casino and the 500-room and suites hotel.
Events and concerts at the casino have also been canceled and postponed.
According to Fox6Now.com, Chairman Daniels noted that they have “no way of knowing the duration of the temporary furlough” as social distancing guidelines during the current health crisis are navigated by the city of Milwaukee and the world.
Employees will reportedly be called back to work and the casino re-opened when it is safe to do so.
Since opening in 1991 as Potawatomi Bingo, the facility has undergone three major expansions, the latest of which in August 2019, saw a 175,000-square foot second hotel tower open at what is now Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. The major addition added 119 rooms giving the downtown Milwaukee property a total of 500 guestrooms, which are spread across two towers.
The 180,000 square feet of gaming space includes more than 2,500 slots, a 5,000 square foot off-track betting center and a 1,350-seat Bingo Hall, nearly 100 gaming tables and a 20-table poker room.