MGM Resorts could make some coronavirus layoffs permanent as money dries up
By Bob Garcia
The casino operator is feeling the economic pinch caused by COVID-19
This unexpected economic slowdown created in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has driven large gambling companies to layoff (temporarily) thousands of employees. For instance, MGM Resorts International suspended the contracts of nearly 63,000 workers at its resorts. According to a letter sent by MGM to Nevada employment officials last week, some of those layoffs will become permanent since money has been drying up after more than two months of closed operations.
“We were optimistic at the time of the initial layoff in March that we would be able to reopen quickly,” wrote MGM Resorts’ Senior Vice President of Human Resources Laura Lee in a May 11 notice to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. “However, we have had to reassess our reopening date given the duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Due to this situation and the fact that there is no way to predict how the virus will continue to spread after businesses resume operations, MGM Resorts can’t promise that all employees will keep their jobs.
“Our sincere hope continues to remain that this layoff is temporary,” Lee wrote, “but in light of the continuing pandemic and our extended closure, we are unable to say that the layoff may not last more than six months for at least some portion of our employees.” The number of employees that will be furlough permanently is not known yet; however, MGM expects to make the final decision to separate from those workers by August 31. “The most difficult step,” said MGM Resorts acting CEO Bill Hornbuckle in the call, “Was to furlough nearly 63,000 employees. This was painful and it’s a hard decision to make, but we are actively preparing for the day that we can welcome them back.”