Over the past few months, casinos across the United States have been trying to come to terms with zero revenues. Since mid-March, casinos of the nation have been shutdown in order to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus. While numbers are lowered, there is still no sign as to when the virus will be less of a threat. In states like Nevada, gaming operators are trying to figure out how they can get back to work or at least continue to stay in business. As a result of the virus outbreak, many companies have been forced to layoff their employees. Station Casinos is the latest to announce more layoffs are coming as they try to focus on the recovery process.
More Layoffs to Come
On Friday, a letter was sent to employees of Station Casinos explaining they would be completing staff level reductions for their casinos in Nevada. The reductions will begin on May 16th. According to Frank Fertitta III, the CEO and chairman of Station Casinos, the company tried to retain their full team but the continued uncertainty of the industry has created an environment where they can no longer do that.
Some non-essential businesses in Nevada will open back up on May 15th. However, casinos will not be included in the first phase. This has caused company’s like Station Casinos to think about what they must do to stay afloat. Unfortunately, it means laying off employees.
What’s to Come?
For Station Casinos, they may choose to open certain properties like Red Rock Resort or Sunset Station in the beginning. Certain properties would be primed to do better than others, so it makes more sense to have them open first.
The company would be opening certain casinos first and then see how they are functioning post coronavirus, before opening others. The company has pointed out that they do not know what business will look like once they reopen. However, they do know that levels will be lower due to the crisis.
One uncertainty that is being considered by operators is player traffic. Considerations must be given to how people will be able to come in to visit the casinos. Players are not flying at this time, so traffic would be from customers who can drive in to the area.
It is also important for operators to consider that players might not feel safe just yet getting out and visiting a casino venue. If the players are not traveling to the casinos, then reopening is basically for naught.
Station Casinos announced previously that they would be paying their full time employees through May 16th. They also moved some part timers to full time so they could earn the pay as well. Medical and dental coverage is being provided through September. Employees who were not affected by furloughs will receive normal pay and benefits through May.
The company has yet to reveal just how many employees will be laid off. They had around 14,000 based on a filing from January but many of that number have already been furloughed. We can only assume that Station will provide an updated number in the future.
For now, the brand is hopeful that things will get back to normal as soon as possible. Their hope is that Las Vegas will rebound quickly and employees can be rehired once they reach the other side of this unprecedented crisis.