MGM Resorts Layoffs Effective Today, 18K Casino Workers Officially Terminated

Posted on: August 31, 2020, 03:41h. 

Last updated on: August 31, 2020, 05:29h.

MGM Resorts formally terminated approximately 18,000 people today, the country’s largest employer of casino workers saying the decision is in response to COVID-19.

MGM Resorts casino jobs Las Vegas
COVID-19 has resulted in a new casino experience, and one that requires fewer workers, as customer traffic remains slow. As a result, MGM Resorts has cut its workforce by a quarter. (Image: KM Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

MGM informed the impacted workers last week that their furloughs would become permanent job terminations as of today, August 31. It reduces the company’s domestic employment total by about 25 percent.

While we have safely resumed operations at many of our properties and have returned tens of thousands of our colleagues to work, our industry — and country — continues to be impacted by the pandemic, and we have not returned to full operating capacity,” Hornbuckle wrote in the letter to affected workers.

Hornbuckle replaced former MGM CEO Jim Murren after he resigned from the casino giant to head up Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s coronavirus response task force. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, MGM Resorts employed 70,000 workers in the US.

Cuts by Location

Details about where the MGM job losses are being incurred are being revealed, as individual casinos confirm the pink slips.

MGM Grand Detroit says 1,100 workers have been let go for good. That reduces the casino’s workforce by nearly 40 percent. Empire City Casino, the New York racino MGM acquired in 2019 for $850 million, is cutting 1,100 jobs.

Borgata in Atlantic City won’t ask some 3,100 casino employees to return. The richest casino in New Jersey, the MGM Resorts property in the Marina District reported to the Division of Gaming Enforcement last month that the resort employs 5,449. The 3,100 positions eliminated accounts for 57 percent of Borgata’s pre-coronavirus workforce.

MGM Casino — State — Job Losses

  • Borgata (NJ) 3,100
  • MGM Grand Detroit (MI) 1,100
  • Empire City (NY) 1,100
  • MGM Springfield (MA) 1,000
  • MGM Northfield Park (OH) 900
  • MGM National Harbor (MD)  800

The rest of the job losses — around 10,000 positions — are largely being incurred at MGM’s casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. Among the company’s Strip portfolio are Aria, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, New York-New York, Park MGM, MGM Grand, Excalibur, and Luxor. MGM’s Beau Rivage and Gold Strike casinos in Mississippi have also slashed jobs.

Returns Hopeful

In his letter to terminated employees, Hornbuckle said he’s optimistic that the US gaming industry can rebound quickly after COVID-19, and that the current reduced workforce is not permanent.

Federal law requires workers to be given a formal termination date if they’ve been furloughed for longer than six months. August 31 marked six months of administrative separation for the MGM furloughed employees. Those fired will continue to receive health benefits through September.

If the industry rebounds and those fired are offered their jobs back and rehired, they will return to their former seniority level should that occur before the end of 2021.

Investors last week welcomed the news regarding MGM slashing 18,000 jobs, shares climbing some seven percent. But today, those shares dropped six percent. Like nearly all casino stocks in the US, MGM has lost significant value during the pandemic. Shares were trading at $33 in early January, and closed today at $22.50, a 32 percent loss.