More than 70% of the properties by Penn National have already reopened. Penn’s CEO says that the achievement is an “important milestone”.
Some 70% of All Penn National Gaming Properties Now Welcome Visitors
The US largest regional casino operator, Penn National Gaming, has announced that more than 70% of its venues are now reopened. The whole gaming industry was shutdown back in mid-March in an effort for the US to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. In the last few weeks, we have seen many states and operators slowly resuming operations while at the same time implementing health and safety protocols.
Penn National reopened four venues in Ohio on Friday. Furthermore, the company restarted the operations of a racetrack casino in Pennsylvania. In addition, two properties of Penn in Nevada have resumed operations – Cactus Pete’s and M Resort in Henderson. The company has announced that by now, 30 out of 41 properties are operating. The company has resumed operations in 13 states so far.
Looking at Nevada, the gaming industry was allowed to resume operations on June 4. However, the Tropicana Las Vegas property, which is managed by Penn, remains closed for the moment. The Las Vegas Strip resort which is 34 acres was sold by Penn National to Gaming and Leisure Properties. This happened back in March under a deal for some $337.5 million in rent credits. Nevertheless, Tropicana Las Vegas is managed by Penn under a lease agreement.
Similar to other industry operators, Penn National has implemented social distancing as well as health and safety protocols for the properties which resumed operations. According to the company, those protocols were created with the help of consultation with local and state health officials as well as regulators.
Does the Reopening of Penn’s Properties Come With Layoffs?
Jay Snowden, president and Penn National CEO, shared his excitement about the reopening of 70% of the company’s properties. He said that the company is grateful to reach this number and called it an “important milestone“. He did not miss to say: “We are continuing to work closely with our regulators and state and local leaders to prepare for the eventual reopening of all of our remaining properties.” In conclusion, Snowden thanked to the state regulators as well as the company’s corporate and property management teams. He said that the reopening is the result of tireless work of those teams in the last few months.
The company furloughed some 26,000 of its employees back in March when the venues were ordered shut. Now, with 30 out of 41 properties reopened, many employees have already returned to work. Reported by Reading Eagle, rumors swirled about eventual layoffs by Penn National. According to an e-mail statement by Penn’s spokesperson Eric Schippers some furloughs may become layoffs.
Schippers pointed out that with limited venue capacity, social distancing and unclear business volumes, some of the properties: “not be able to resume normal operations for the foreseeable future.” His statement continued with: “We informed our team members that their furloughs may be converted to a permanent layoff in the coming weeks or months. We had a legal obligation to send a formal WARN notice to all the team members who could potentially be laid off.” In conclusion, the spokesperson stressed that this doesn’t mean that all those team members will be laid off.