A staggering 21% drop in employment of casinos in Atlantic City is observed in August this year. According to a report by the New Jersey Division of Gaming, both full and part-time workers were significantly less when comparing numbers from last year August.
Casino Employment in Atlantic City Drops Significantly in August
According to a report by the Division of Gaming Enforcement in New Jersey, casino employment in Atlantic City dropped by 21% in August this year. The DGE report outlines that 24 880 people were employed by casinos in Atlantic City in July this year. In August, this number drops down to 22 352. This marks approximately 21% drop in employment when comparing the results from August 2019, which showed 28 585 people employed by casinos.
The full-time casino employees in July were 14,852. Here a small increase is observed as full-time employees in August were 15,023. However, this number still marks a significant decrease when compared to last year August when 19,812 people were permanently employed by the industry in Atlantic City.
The number of part-time workers increased slightly when comparing July to August. In July there were 1,446 casino employees while in August the number reached 1,558 people. In contrast, those numbers remain relatively low as last year in August alone there were 3,051 part-time employees. According to the report, employees listed under the category “other” represent the seasonal and temporary workers as well as workers on furlough due to COVID-19. This number in July reached 5771 employees, but in August it increased to 8582 people.
The Impact of COVID-19 in Atlantic City
Similar to other states, in light of the growing COVID-19 pandemic in March, the nine casinos in Atlantic City were ordered to shut their doors. After more than 100 days of suspended operations, the casinos were allowed to reopen. Keeping in mind that the venues reopened in the COVID-19 environment, health and safety protocols were introduced to reduce the spread of the respiratory disease. To help decrease a possible spread of COVID-19, all venues also had to reduce their capacity. Despite being able to operate, the casinos in Atlantic City have felt the devastating hit by COVID-19. Only recently, Atlantic City’s largest casino employer had to lay off a significant part of its employees. In August, Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa laid off over 2,000 of its employees.
In an interview for the Press of Atlantic City, Jane Bokunewicz, a coordinator of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism at Stockton University said: “Borgata may have been impacted more than other properties since they have more of a nongaming footprint than others.” She added: “It seems most casinos are bringing back as many furloughed employees as they can, and some are letting the rest go.“
Steve Callender, regional president of Caesars Entertainment and president of the Casino Association in New Jersey shared a similar opinion. He outlined: “We’re being careful and making sure we have the right demand before we bring people back to work.” Callender concluded that the last thing that Caesars would want is to have the people come back and then furlough them again.