The casino industry in New Jersey have been seriously impacted by the ongoing health crisis as all nine casinos in Atlantic City, the state’s gambling hub, have been closed since March 16, when St. Gov. Phil Murphy ordered them to close doors to prevent the person-to-person transmission of the virus.
By that time casino operators announced they would ensure compensation and health insurance for their staff for 2 weeks, but according to a recent report from The Press of Atlantic City, nearly 16,000 employees from the nine casinos in Atlantic City have been sent their temporary layoff notices by the respective operator companies.
Industry-Wide Temporary Layoffs
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and Ocean Resort Casino are the two gaming venues that have relieved most of its personnel. Hard Rock issued a statement saying it had furloughed workers as the impact from the virus on both the casino and the hotel was enormous.
“To alleviate financial impacts of the government issued mandated closure and to show we appreciate and value our team members, Hard Rock Atlantic City paid all eligible team members for two weeks, along with continuing health benefits throughout the month of April.”Joe Lupo, President, Hard Rock
Hard Rock workers that have been placed on furlough have the option to use their paid time off, added to 80 hours borrowed from the company, earned back over the course of three years, and the company would provide an opportunity for the workers to be paid in full for two weeks or more depending on the accrued amount of paid time off that was saved before filing for unemployment.
Ocean Casino CEO Terry Glebocki outlined the temporary layoffs would allow employees to apply for unemployment compensation after being paid for two weeks by the company. In addition, Ocean Resort Casino informed its employees in a memo sent to them that they would be reinstated as soon as the business needed them and was allowed to operate, implying that management of the casino might take advantage of the situation and re-assess the number of its workers.
The owner of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, MGM Resorts International, sent companywide temporary layoff notices to its employees immediately after Governor’s order for closure. Resorts Casino informed their staff about the furloughs on Tuesday. Caesars Entertainment, operator of three gaming facilities in the state, Bally’s, Caesars, and Harrah’s, who already announced would place 90% of its US staff on furlough, sent company-wide notices to its state workers on Thursday.
State Unemployment Claims Number Spiked
Unemployment in New Jersey since the shutdown of nonessential businesses have commenced spiked to more than 150,000 claims for the week after, pushing up even more to over 200,000 in the week March 22-28, around 7,000 applications per week being the normal.