Boyd Gaming Eyeing Up to 1,500 Layoffs in Louisiana

Posted on: June 15, 2020, 08:32h. 

Last updated on: June 15, 2020, 11:01h.

Boyd Gaming could lay off as many as 1,500 workers across its five Louisiana venues, according to a notice with the state Gaming Control Board (LGCB).

Boyd Gaming Layoffs Loom
Workers at Boyd Louisiana venues, including Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino in Shreveport, seen here, could be subject to layoffs. (Image: KSLA)

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. John Bel Edwards ordered Pelican State casinos to close on March 22. The shutdown forced operators in the fifth-largest US gaming market to furlough thousands of staffers. Boyd began furloughing workers across the country on April 11 to reduce costs. The Las Vegas-based operator runs 29 casinos in 10 states.

The company’s notification to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board said layoffs are expected during the first two weeks in July,” reports the Associated Press. “They include up to 414 workers at Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino in Shreveport, 354 at Delta Downs Racetrack in Vinton, 340 at Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner, 246 at Evangeline Downs Racetrack in Opelousas, and 170 at Amelia Belle Casino in Amelia.”

The LGCB holds its June meeting today. But an agenda for the get-together obtained by doesn’t mention Boyd or its potential staff reductions.

Open Again, But at Limited Capacity

Louisiana casinos reopened on May 18, marking the first of the major US gaming markets to come back online following the COVID-19 shutdown. While operators subsequently commented on strong demand, they are running the venues at significantly reduced capacity.

Initially, Pelican State gaming properties could operate at just a quarter their usual capacity with half their gaming stations open. Those percentages were boosted to 50 percent occupancy and 75 percent of gaming machines and tables on June 5.

Louisiana’s gaming industry was punished by the coronavirus shutdown. In March and April, casinos there bled $347 million, while slots-only venues lost another $90 million, according to LGCB data. The aforementioned Boyd properties lost more than $70.2 million in March and April, according to the AP.

Layoffs are expected to impact gaming floor employees, including dealers, restaurant staff, spa workers, maintenance, and security personnel, and could affect 25 percent to 60 percent of headcount at each Boyd location in the state.

Other Cost-Cutting Moves

During the COVID-19 shutdown, Boyd took other measures to reduce costs, becoming the first domestic gaming company to suspend its dividend, while announcing that executives would take substantial reductions in pay.

Louisiana isn’t the only state where Boyd could trim headcount. Earlier this month, reported that the company published 20 notices across six states regarding possible layoffs or extended furloughs that could affect more than 10,300 employees.

Some of that payroll reduction is expected to take place in Boyd’s home market of Las Vegas, where it’s reopened nine of its 12 venues. Analysts are forecasting that all of the company’s properties will be back online by the end of this month, or sometime in early July.