Coronavirus impact: Caesars says it is furloughing 90% of its nationwide workforce

Coronavirus impact: Caesars says it is furloughing 90% of its nationwide workforce

  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
April 3, 2020 11:29 AM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Other

Caesars Entertainment said late Thursday that it would furlough 90% of its total workforce, including property-level employees and corporate staff.

The Las Vegas-based company’s entire casino portfolio of 53 properties in 14 states is shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Caesars employs 64,000 throughout the organization, according to its 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to a statement, the furloughed workers will remain Caesars employees. The company has paid furloughed workers for the first two weeks of the casino closures, which began in the middle of March. Employees will be able to use their available paid time off after the two weeks of salary expires.

The company will pay 100% of health insurance premiums for furloughed employees enrolled in the company’s health benefit plans through June 30, or until the casinos reopen, whichever happens first.

In a statement, Caesars CEO Tony Rodio said the furloughs were taking place to strengthen the company’s financial position while the casino industry is shut down.

Caesars CEO Tony Rodio

“Given the closure of our properties, we are taking difficult but necessary steps to protect the company’s financial position and its ability to recover when circumstances allow us to reopen and begin welcoming our guests and employees back to our properties,” Rodio said. “The company entered this crisis with strong operating performance, which, combined with the steps we are taking now, are critical to the future of our company.”

Nevada’s casinos, including those on the Las Vegas Strip, will remain closed through April 30 under a directive issued Wednesday by Governor Steve Sisolak.

The original directive was set to expire on April 15 and covered all non-essential businesses, gaming, and schools. In a statement, Sisolak said the time change mirrors the latest guidance from the federal government in an effort to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Also Wednesday, in an interview with CNBC, MGM Resorts’ acting CEO Bill Hornbuckle said 60,000 of the company 69,000 employees had been furloughed.

Wynn Resorts said late Wednesday it would continue to pay 15,000 salaried, hourly and part-time employees through May 15, for a total of 60 days of payroll continuance. For tipped employees, the pay includes the average tip compliance rate, or distributed tips and tokes, since the beginning of the year.

“It is our shared responsibility to follow the direction of health and safety professionals to stay home and limit social contact,” said Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox.  “We owe it to each other, our families, and our community.”

Meanwhile, Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, in a commentary in the New York Post Thursday, said the company would pay the 10,000 Venetian and Palazzo employees their wages for two months.

“It’s not only the right thing to do — it’s good business,” Adelson wrote. “There are certainly great stories of corporate America doing all it can to support employees’ needs during a time when so many of our fellow Americans have been asked to stand down from their work. But we employers, especially larger ones, can do more. We should do more.”

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.