Financial Concerns Lead Wyoming’s Shoshone Rose Casino to Trim Workforce, Cut Hours
Posted on: June 10, 2019, 11:03h.
Last updated on: June 10, 2019, 11:03h.
The Shoshone Rose Casino and Hotel in Lander, Wyoming will lay off over a dozen employees, reduce hours and eliminate table games to lower operating costs, news reports said.
Between 15 and 20 workers will be let go and the gaming area will be shuttered for part of the night Sunday through Thursday, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. The venue will also stop shuttle bus service and eliminate banquet operations.
The casino’s operator, the Eastern Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, did not detail a specific time frame for the changes. Though it appears some of the steps were already taken and additional economizing is possible in the future.
Looking ahead, the tribe plans to increase marketing and somehow get more patrons to visit the venue. It will also make improvements and up oversight in security, financial, restaurant and IT operations.
“This has been a difficult process for the (Eastern Shoshone Business Council) but we will do everything we can to bring back these jobs once the casino stabilizes,” tribal business council Chairman Vernon Hill said in a statement quoted by the Wyoming newspaper.
Tribal leaders have scheduled a June 18 meeting with tribal members to explain the changes. Casino.org reached out to leaders for comment but officials declined to provide immediate statements.
The moves come from a study done by a casino consultant, RTC Gaming Consulting. The assessment attempts to increase revenue, as well as lower costs and expenses.
The Shoshone Rose opened in 2007. In 2015, the venue underwent a $30 million upgrade which included adding a hotel, expanding the gaming area and offering more restaurant options.
The larger venue opened in 2016. The additions were part of an effort to attract more patrons from areas outside of the Lander region.
At another Wyoming venue, the Wind River Hotel and Casino located in Riverton, changes are afoot, too. CEO Jim Conrad apparently can keep his current job until the end of this month.
The venue’s operator, the Northern Arapaho Tribe, was still trying to iron out whether Conrad will remain in the post after this month, according to a report last month.
New Assistant CEO
The Star-Tribune reported last week that Wyoming state House Rep. Andi Clifford, D-33A, was named assistant CEO of the Wind River Hotel and Casino. She is a member of the Northern Arapaho tribe.
Conrad said in a letter that she will have the same authority he current holds, according to the news report. Clifford is a former manager at the gaming venue.
Opinion on Illegal Gaming
When it comes to commercial games, last year, Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael filed an opinion which stated electronic gaming machines — found at bars, restaurants and other establishments — are illegal in the state. It is up to local authorities to make arrests and prosecute those who violate the law.
These machines are illegal gambling devices under Wyoming law,” Michael concluded last December. “Those who play them are engaged in gambling, which is a crime in Wyoming. Those who provide the games are engaged in professional gambling, which is also a crime in Wyoming.”
The opinion was written following a formal request by Natrona County District Attorney Michael Blonigen. It relates to video games of skill made by Banilla Games and perhaps other companies, according to WyomingNews.com, and it could include such games as: Bath-time Bucks, Fruity Sevens, Mega Money Reel and Spooky’s Loot.
The opinion apparently does not impact tribal gambling overseen by the Eastern Shoshone or the Northern Arapaho.