Atlantic City Casinos Cut More Jobs, Gaming Industry Employment Down 17 Percent

Posted on: November 26, 2020, 10:48h. 

Last updated on: November 26, 2020, 11:01h.

Atlantic City casinos continue to scale down their workforces, as their properties remain operating in reduced capacities and with limited services.

Atlantic City casino jobs employment
COVID-19 continues to stricken employment numbers at Atlantic City casinos. (Image: AP)

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) reports in its October employment summary that the nine casinos collectively employed 22,220 people at the end of last month. That’s down approximately 17 percent compared with October 2019.

October’s numbers reveal additional job cuts from September, as 283 people were permanently let go last month from their casino place of employment.

Atlantic City casinos are employing 4,670 fewer people than they did at this time last year.

Numbers Not Telling Entire Story

The DGE concedes that the October employment report might not be fully accurate because of ongoing furloughs as a result of COVID-19.

“The figures for July to October 2020 include a significant number of individuals on furlough,” the DGE explains.

Totals for November 2019-October 2020 were taken from the electronic transfer of hotel casino employment information submitted by the casino industry. The figures reflect total number of employed positions in the casino industry and make no distinction between full- or part-time employment,” the agency adds.

The casinos employed 4,670 fewer people in October 2020 than October 2 because of a recent spike in new coronavirus cases. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) earlier this month ordered all indoor dining and beverage service — including at casinos — to suspend service nightly between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am.

Casino hotel occupancy is additionally down, resulting in fewer hospitality workers needed.

“It’s getting tougher and tougher. These restrictions make a big difference,” said Steve Callender, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey and regional president for Caesars Entertainment Inc., to the Press of Atlantic City.

“Employment numbers are going to get worse, unfortunately,” Callender predicted.

Borgata Returning Some

Borgata, the town’s richest gross gaming revenue earner and largest employer, welcomed back some workers last month. The MGM Resorts property returned 348 jobs to lead the industry with a workforce of 3,630 employees.

However, that number might reverse in November, as Borgata President Melonie Johnson said the nightly ban on indoor food and beverage led to the difficult decision to eliminate 73 workers and reduce hours for 349 others.

Casino — Total Employees

  1. Borgata — 3,630
  2. Hard Rock — 3,424
  3. Harrah’s — 2,842
  4. Tropicana — 2,441
  5. Caesars — 2,377
  6. Ocean — 2,358
  7. Bally’s — 1,923
  8. Resorts — 1,659
  9. Golden Nugget — 1,566

Bally’s, Caesars, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock, Harrah’s, Resorts, and Tropicana all employed fewer people in October than they did in September. Ocean’s total workforce stayed exactly the same during the two months.

Atlantic City casino employment traditionally curtails after the summer months. In 2019 total employment went from 29,298 in June, to 26,890 in November, an 8.2 percent contraction.