Commercial Gaming

Borgata Cuts Four Out of 10 Jobs, Atlantic City Casino Employment Down 17.5 Percent

Borgata Atlantic City employed 2,359 fewer people in September of 2020 than the MGM Resorts casino property did in September of 2019.

Borgata has substantially trimmed its workforce amid the COVID-19 crisis. (Image: The Philadelphia Inquirer)

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) reveals Atlantic City’s largest casino employer and gross gaming revenue generator had a staff last month totaling 3,282 workers. That’s down 41.9 percent year-over-year.

MGM Resorts has laid-off workers across the country. Effective September 1, approximately 18,000 people were officially terminated from the casino giant at its domestic properties. COVID-19 is the primary culprit for the cutbacks. CEO Bill Hornbuckle explains the layoffs are a result of the casino not operating at full capacity.

Atlantic City casinos continue to operate at 25 percent capacity. That occupancy limit also applies to indoor dining. Beverages on the casino floor must be ordered from a server or bartender, and can only be consumed while seated.

Atlantic City Struggles

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) last month for Atlantic City’s nine brick-and-mortar casinos totaled $190.5 million. That’s a 15.1 percent year-over-year decline.

Internet gaming, which surged 113 percent in September to $87.6 million, allowed the New Jersey gaming industry to post a GGR increase compared with September of 2019.

But internet gaming doesn’t generate associate revenue for land-based casinos. That includes food and beverage, hotel stays, shopping, and entertainment. An online casino also doesn’t require nearly as many jobs.

The DGE jobs report shows that the casinos employed 22,503 people in September. While that’s 151 positions more than the nine properties did in August, it represents a 17.5 percent reduction compared with September of 2019.

It doesn’t surprise me that we’re down that far based on the capacity restraints that we have,” Casino Association of New Jersey President Steve Callender told the Press of Atlantic City. “We need help, and we need to be able to offer more of an experience for people.

We think we’re ready to go to 50 percent indoor dining, and certainly have meetings and gatherings where we have the ability to spread people out,” he added. Callender is also the senior vice president of Caesars Entertainment’s eastern operations.

Industrywide Layoffs

Each Atlantic City casino employed fewer people last month than in September 2019.

Casino Job Losses

  • Bally’s – 190
  • Borgata – 2,359
  • Caesars – 140
  • Golden Nugget – 377
  • Hard Rock – 268
  • Harrah’s – 205
  • Ocean – 657
  • Resorts – 268
  • Tropicana – 318
  • TOTAL: 4,782

As for the slight uptick in positions in September 2020 compared with August, Ocean Casino Resort was responsible for putting some people back to work. The Boardwalk property added 265 jobs between August and September.

Despite the pandemic, Ocean is on a roll. The once-struggling casino saw GGR from its brick-and-mortar operations surge 26.8 percent in September. It was the only land-based Atlantic City casino to post a year-over-year gaming revenue increase.

Devin O'Connor

Gaming Legislation, Politics, Casino Business, Entertainment----Devin O’Connor’s passion for politics and background in the world of pop culture television give him insight into the gaming industry backstories that often drive news these days. After graduating from Penn State University with a theater arts degree, he worked at MTV Networks/Viacom from 2005 to 2010 as a writer and producer, where his credits included Total Request Live, New Year's Eve specials, and a special featuring poker superstar Daniel Negreanu. He later moved on to the HGTV/DIY Network, where he created, wrote, and produced three series specials: That's So House Hunters, That's So 80s, and That's So 90s. Devin came on board with Casino.org in 2014. He lives in Pennsylvania, and is an avid marathoner, having completed 15 races to date. Email: devin.oconnor@casino.org

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  • As a former employer of the casinos many years ago, sorry to see it this way...Casinos were a great place many years ago before Greed and corruption took over. I am afraid it will get worse.. What goes around - comes around

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Devin O'Connor