More Layoffs Possible for Las Vegas Casinos

For months now, employees of the gambling industry in the United States have been laid off or furloughed, then brought back to work, or are still in limbo. With the coronavirus shutdown in March, it took months for casinos to get back to business and for many, operations have started again without many employees. Even now, as 2020 is about to come to an end, casinos are revealing that more layoffs may be pending in the future as the gambling industry continues to struggle.

Las Vegas Layoffs

By December, hundreds of jobs in Las Vegas could be at risk. Notices were filed publicly on Monday that show the M Resort is anticipating laying off over 200 employees starting in Late December, just before the Christmas holiday.

The Tropicana plans to lay off employees as well, also before Christmas. They already laid off over 700 employees in mid-October and will lay off an additional 132 people starting in late December. MGM Grand Garden has plans to lay off just over 160 people while the Park Theater will be sending notices to around 180 employees.

Notices filed this week were done so under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. This is done to ensure that employees have ample notice before significant layoffs are made within large companies. This way, the employees can look for another job while still employed.

Shocking Decrease in Employment

When comparing the number of people employed in the state’s gaming industry to last year, the numbers are quite shocking. Overall, in Nevada, the number of jobs in the state has dipped by 127,000 since September 2019.

This is due to the state relying on the gambling industry to provide revenues. Las Vegas, Reno and other gambling areas rely heavily on tourism. Without people coming in to play casino games, dine and attend shows, it has drastically cut the number of revenues earned.

With the pandemic still an issue, casinos are operating at a much lower capacity. There are certain amenities that are still closed, so casinos do not need their full work force. This has led to furloughs continuing in the state.

In September 2020, the unemployment rate for Nevada was up 12.6%. This is an almost 9% increase from last year. The rate could continue to increase if operators are still laying off workers due to low travel numbers.

The tourism rates could potentially continue to suffer as the virus has started to spread yet again. Across the United States, positive cases are increasing. This could be due to colder weather or the fact that people are becoming tired of having to wear a mask and social distance, so they are spending more time with family and friends, which can easily see the virus spread.

If the industry does not see a turnaround soon, we may continue to see layoffs in higher numbers among gaming companies. Hopefully, this will not be the case and the industry will be able to support full employment numbers in the near future.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.