Del Lago Lays Off 50 Employees After NY Governor Issues Covid-19 Restrictions

Del Lago said it will lay off 50 employees, as NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced additional Covid-19 restrictions last week, which included a reduction in operating hours for casinos.

Casinos Reduce Operating Hours

The del Lago Resort & Casino has laid off 50 employees, following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement of new Covid-19 restrictions last week.

All businesses licensed by the State Liquor Authority, including bars, casinos, and restaurants, are required to close at 10pm, starting last Friday night. The reduction of the operation schedule of the del Lago led to the cost-cutting decision of furloughing 50 employees.. 

The casino is now open from 8am to 10pm every day.

“Due to our limited operations schedule, we have made the difficult decision to furlough 50 employees,”

Lance Young, executive vice president and general manager of del Lago Resort & Casino

After a shutdown of nearly six months, del Lago reopened on September 9, after Governor Cuomo authorized New York’s gaming venues, including commercial casinos and racinos, to reopen at 25% capacity.

Only about 225 of nearly 1,100 del Lago employees returned to work after the six-month hiatus.

The casino operator filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice during the shutdown — approximately two months before the reopening, which stated that layoffs might be considered if del Lago remained closed due to the pandemic.

Revenue Growth in October for NY Casinos

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, del Lago averaged more than $3 million in gross gaming revenue on a weekly basis. Casinos remained closed during the first five months of the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Del Lago generated more than $151 million in gross revenue during the previous fiscal year, with a total of $67 million reported for the first five months. It reported paying over $45 million in taxes.

October is the first full month of casino operations in New York after the lockdown. Sports betting revenue grew in October. According to the State Gaming Commission, New York State’s four casinos yielded $2.6 million in gross gaming revenue last month, compared to last October’s $2.2 million.

New York State gaming activities generated $3.7 billion in revenues during the last fiscal year which ended on March 30.

Big Turnover Drop Year-On-Year

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli issued a report on November 12 on the imbalance between gaming revenues and problem gambling measures in New York State, which said the state expects turnover to drop by $616 million this year. This is a consequence of the closure of most betting and gambling venues during the pandemic, but also of a decrease in customers due to the limited maximum capacity.

Nearly 7,000 employees were furloughed from the state’s four casinos and eight racinos during the past months, but the report states the number of employees who were hired back has not been shared.

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