Eldorado Resorts was among the few that committed to continue to pay to its workers for a full month during the casinos closure. That month is about to expire Friday and the Reno-based casino operator is expected to follow the example of most of its industry competitors, Boyd Gaming being the latest, and place most of its staff on furlough indefinitely.
Eldorado General Manager Tracy Mimno informed in a memo dated April 7 employees at the Eldorado Resorts Casino in Reno, The Row, that they would be placed on temporary furlough, starting April 11. Initial expectation is that the duration of the furlough will be less than 3 months.
Similar notices are expected to be circulated to all 23 Eldorado Resorts properties spread across 11 states in the US that were affected by the temporary shutdown of operations due to the severe outbreak of the coronavirus. Indeed, a report from Indiana claims that, according to a memo posted by the casino’s human resources office to the website of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, 529 employees at Tropicana Evansville are being furloughed.
Wages Suspended, Benefits Continue
Eldorado maintained full payments for its staff through April 10, but the uncertainty regarding the health crisis in the country has piled pressure on management to make difficult decisions and implement a leave of absence, which essentially is a furlough.
Despite suspending wages for its staff, Eldorado Resorts will continue to pay health benefits through June 30, allow employees to have during their first week of furlough “flexible time off”, as well as provide them with the necessary unemployment assistance.
The Reno-based casino and hospitality operator, though still unconfirmed, will not be the first to cut operations costs while casinos are closed by placing employees on furlough. MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Penn National Gaming and Boyd Gaming are among the casino operators that placed most of its workforce on temporary leave to offset the negative impact on their bottom lines from the closure of their revenue-generating properties. Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and Station Casinos, though, have decided to pay their employees for two months.
Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment are still in the last phase of their $17.3 billion cash-plus-stock merger. The deal that was initially expected to complete by the end of June will most probably be delayed due to the ongoing health crisis. There are still three state regulators that have to approve it, Nevada, New Jersey and Indiana, as well as the Federal Trade Commission, but to do that regulators will have to hold their public meetings.
The delay to close the mega-merger deal would not come cheap for Eldorado, though, as a recent Bloomberg article informed the Reno-based operator is facing ticking fees of $2.3 million per day, a subject Eldorado officials so far refuse to comment.