In the United States and MGM Resorts International has reportedly detailed that it could be forced to permanently lay-off a significant proportion of the 63,000 employees it has so far furloughed in the wake of the nation’s temporary coronavirus-related casino shutdown.
According to a Tuesday report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper, the casino behemoth distributed a notice earlier this week in which it declared that it has no idea how many furloughed domestic staff members could be invited back to work post-shutdown because it expects the market to be ‘significantly decreased’ for the remainder of the year.
The newspaper reported that MGM Resort International, which is responsible for such impressive properties as the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Las Vegas as well as the equally imposing MGM Grand Detroit, was forced to temporarily furlough the vast majority of its 70,000-strong workforce after its casinos were shuttered in mid-March as part of an effort to stop the spread of a coronavirus strain that has so far killed over 72,300 people in the United States alone.
The Las Vegas Journal-Review reported that the notice from MGM Resort International, which was signed by the Las Vegas-headquartered firm’s recently-installed President and Chief Executive Officer, Bill Hornbuckle (pictured), explained that it has now extended the furlough period for the vast majority of its full-time and temporary workforce until the end of August. But the communication purportedly moreover asserted that it has processed over $13 million in employee grants for expenses such as mortgage, utility and rental payments and will be leaving its company-backed health care plan open to such laid-off staff members until at least the expiration of this summer deadline.
Reportedly read a statement from Hornbuckle…
“The temporary closure in March of our United States properties and the painful decision to furlough thousands of colleagues has made this the most challenging period ever faced by our company and industry. I know how difficult this period has been for so many of you and your families. Please know we are hard at work on plans to re-open our properties and bring back as many employees as possible.”
The newspaper reported that an ongoing study from the University of Florida recently indicated that only about 6% of potential American casino patrons would be willing to re-book a cancelled or postponed reservation within a week of the coronavirus epidemic being contained. Nevertheless, MGM Resorts International spokesperson Debra DeShong purportedly told the Las Vegas Journal-Review that she is hopeful the industry will quickly recover but that it ‘may take some time for business to return to pre-pandemic levels.’
Hornbuckle’s statement reportedly read…
“When our industry bounces back, we will welcome you with open arms. However, we understand you may find permanent employment elsewhere. We encourage you to do whatever is best for you and your families during this challenging time.”