Borgata Atlantic City employed 2,359 fewer people in September of 2020 than the MGM Resorts casino property did in September of 2019.
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.
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.
Each Atlantic City casino employed fewer people last month than in September 2019.
Casino Job Losses
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.