Casino Workers at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Face Permanent Layoffs During Sluggish Economy

Posted on: September 7, 2020, 01:21h. 

Last updated on: September 7, 2020, 02:07h.

As Florida attempts to regain its economic footing from the coronavirus pandemic, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood is faced with laying off workers.

Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood will have to lay off workers if the economy doesn’t turn around. The resort north of Miami includes a guitar-shaped hotel. (Image: CNN)

Parent company Seminole Gaming said its employees were placed on indefinite leave when the property closed March 20 as the pandemic hit, according to the Miami Herald. The resort was allowed to reopen June 12 with safety measures in place.

While some employees returned in June, 1,527 workers remained temporarily laid off.

The Seminole tribe indicated it hoped to rehire the workers. However, a surge in COVID-19 infections statewide and locally prevented the company from fully resuming its operations, putting these jobs in jeopardy, according to the Miami Herald. The layoffs could be permanent by Dec. 31 if economic conditions do not improve.

The Hard Rock Live concert site, where many of the laid off workers were employed, remains closed. Among the layoffs are 100 bartenders and 80 greeters.

Located 25 miles north of Miami, the resort is known, in part, for having a guitar-shaped hotel. The giant, 450-foot guitar has 638 rooms, and features a light show on its exterior surfaces. The show includes bright guitar strings, colorful palm trees, and more.

Infection Rates

In Florida, 11,848 people have died with COVID-19 complications since the pandemic began in mid-March, according to a New York Times database.

Hollywood, Florida, has 13,747 confirmed cases, the seventh-highest number in the Sunshine State, according to the South Florida Business Journal.

On Sunday, Sept. 6, the day before the Labor Day holiday, 38 new coronavirus deaths and 2,564 new cases were reported in Florida.

Since the outbreak began, the state has come under fire over images showing large numbers of people gathered at public beaches. Health officials have expressed concerns about Labor Day crowds possibly reigniting infection rates.

That would reverse a trend showing reported cases in decline. An average of 2,879 cases per day were reported in Florida over the past week, a decrease of 26 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

Nationwide, reported number of new cases have gone down compared to earlier months, the New York Times reported.

“Case numbers remain persistently high across much of the country, though reports of new cases have dropped considerably since late July, when the country averaged well over 60,000 per day,” the Times reported.

In the United States, more than 6,292,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus, and at least 188,800 have died, according to the database.

Positive Gaming Trends

The American Gaming Association reported that commercial gaming revenue across the country has recovered somewhat from its lows in April and May, when the coronavirus shutdown was at its height.

While July revenue was down 23.9% year-over-year, it was the third straight month of dramatically improving revenue conditions for commercial gaming,” the association reported.

Those figures could indicate a positive trend in commercial and tribal gaming revenue in some places, according to industry executives.

Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen, discussing the company’s properties in Las Vegas and elsewhere, recently said Hard Rock’s Florida operations in Tampa and Hollywood are “exceeding last year’s numbers,” but noted the company spent $2.2 billion on expansions at those resorts.