As many as 1,100 employees of MGM Grand Detroit are to lose their employment. A spokesperson of the global hospitality and entertainment giant revealed the company plans to downsize its job positions by firing around 18,000 furloughed employees nationwide. The reason for the massive layoff cited by the MGM representative was the slowing down business. This was a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the restrictive measures against it, the representative explained.
The workers will continue receiving their health insurance until the end of September 2020. The gambling giant might recall some of its laid-off staff members to their positions without penalties as the situation in the gaming and hospitality sector continues to evolve in the near future.
According to the company’s Chief Executive of Operations, William Hornbuckle, staff members who are recalled to their positions by the end of December 2021 will resume their insurance benefits right away. Such workers will also get to retain their seniority upon returning to work.
Detroit is home to several gambling venues that relaunched their services at the beginning of August. The venues reopened with reduced capacity to 15% and are subjected to some of the most restrictive measures in the whole of the United States. Needless to say, the 85% reduction in capacity will cause a serious dent in the gambling operators’ revenue.
Two of them, the Greektown Casino and the MotorCity Casino, have not unveiled plans for permanent staff cut-downs for the time being. MGM Grand Detroit, on the other hand, staffs as many 2,800 employees and will cut down its personnel nearly in half by firing 1,100 people.
Detroit Casinos Comply with Some of the Toughest Measures Nationwide
MGM’s Detroit outfit was forced to shut down its operations in mid-March as part of the nationwide preventive measures against the spread of the virus. Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an order that allowed casinos, MGM Grand Detroit included, to relaunch their operations from August 5 onwards.
However, the Governor’s order imposed some of the most restrictive measures on casino operators in the country, according to industry experts. Apart from the massive capacity reductions, Detroit-based casinos have to ensure all patrons who enter their premises are wearing protective face coverings. The temperature of each visitor also has to be checked upon entry.
Customers are disallowed from smoking cigarettes or vaping on the premises. Such activities are only permitted within specially designated areas outside the casinos. As for beverage consumption, it is allowed as long as the customers remain in their seats at the bar or in front of slot machines. They must refrain from walking around with drinks in hand. Valets and self-service buffets have also been prohibited under the reopening conditions.
According to gambling industry expert Alex Calderone, these restrictions will have an impact on the state’s economy as a whole. Reduced capacity translates into lower revenue, which, in turn, leads to fewer taxes going into the state coffers. Before the pandemic took over, the city of Detroit collected almost US$600,000 from the taxes of its three casinos each day.