In Another Devastating Blow, MGM Resorts Lays Off 18,000 Casino Employees

Posted on September 1, 2020 - Last Updated on September 2, 2020

COVID-19 strikes again. Several thousand MGM Resorts employees started September jobless as CEO Bill Hornbuckle announced at least 18,000 casino employees lost their jobs, effective August 31.

The layoffs affect employees nationwide, as MGM has numerous hotel-casinos in a number of states. It’s unclear exactly how many of the layoffs impact Las Vegas-area employees. In total, the large number accounts for a whopping quarter of MGM’s US staff.

Another blow to the casino industry

In a letter, Hornbuckle said while MGM was able to safely resume operations at many of their properties, the industry continues to be heavily impacted by the pandemic.

“It has been nearly six months since we temporarily closed all our U.S. properties due to COVID-19 and were forced to furlough nearly our entire domestic workforce. While we have safely resumed operations at many of our properties and have returned tens of thousands of our colleagues to work, our industry – and country – continues to be impacted by the pandemic, and we have not returned to full operating capacity,” Hornbuckle wrote.

MGM previously announced that due to the cancellation of live events, and the fact that shows in Las Vegas and other cities are not allowed to have an audience in attendance, most of its entertainment staff would be laid off.

Hornbuckle went on to write that employees laid-off on August 31 would remain on the company’s “recall list” allowing the company to bring employees back based on business needs, position, and seniority.

MGM National Harbor, located in Maryland, laid off 779 employees as well. MGM Grand Detroit layoffs, meanwhile, affected 1,100 employees, and MGM Springfield saw 1,000 employees let go.

MGM will also extend health benefits through the end of the month.

Read the full letter here.

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Nevada unemployment continues to climb

For those hitting the unemployment market, you’re not alone. The gaming industry in Nevada saw roughly 206,000 workers across 219 casinos file for unemployment in early April. Nevada has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country as Las Vegas continues to be hammered by coronavirus-related closures, tourists hesitant to travel, and a lack of demand.

PlayUSA has provided a few steps on how to file for unemployment in states like Nevada, New Jersey, and Mississippi.

“While the immediate future remains uncertain, I truly believe that the challenges we face today are not permanent. The fundamentals of our industry, our company, and our communities will not change,” Hornbuckle said. “Concerts, sports, and awe-inspiring entertainment remain on our horizon. Trust me, we will bounce back from this – stronger and better than ever. And we will continue in our mission to entertain the world. Of that, we can all be certain.”

Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago, writing about local politics, and in Washington, D.C., covering the expanding gambling industry. Now back in Chicago, he continues to write about the emerging sports betting market with a focus on the Midwest. Originally from West Texas, he graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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