The ramifications of the coronavirus continue to pile up. Boyd Gaming recently announced that it had laid off at least 25% of its workforce. In a letter filed with the Nevada Department of Enforcement, Training and Rehabilitation, the company indicated that that number may get as high as 60%.
The casino operator, which owns 10 casinos in the greater Las Vegas area, said it would provide financial assistance to those laid off. Twenty-five percent of Boyd Gaming’s workforce amounts to at least 2,500 employees.
In a statement, the company said:
“While we have been able to reopen most of our properties … we are still facing significant restrictions on our business, and visitation levels remain well below pre-pandemic levels. Given these ongoing challenges and continued uncertainty, we are moving forward with permanent layoffs of team members who were still on furlough and had not been recalled to work. These layoffs are at the lower end of the range outlined in the WARN Act letters issued in May. We are notifying affected team members as expeditiously as we can.”
Las Vegas unemployment
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered the shutdown of all nonessential businesses, including casinos, on March 18. As PlayUSA reported, the result of 216 casino closures was roughly 206,000 gaming employees out of work.
The pandemic was equally as destructive to gaming markets in the southern and eastern parts of the US. In April, the Department of Labor reported that roughly 6.65 million people nationwide had filed for unemployment, a number that continues to rise.
Las Vegas casino industry slowly reopening
As a hospitality and tourism hub, the Las Vegas economy has been hit especially hard. As the industry continues to reopen slowly, operators have to do so with strict rules in place.
Initially, Las Vegas was hesitant to enforce the use of face masks. But as COVID-19 cases continued to rise, the city changed its stance. Sisolak issued a mandate on June 29 that requires anyone in any public space to wear a mask.
The economic and social impact of the coronavirus is still piling up. Hopefully, in time, people can get their jobs back and a small sliver of normalcy can return.