Paychecks cut, benefits extended
Thousands of Detroit casino employees are set to lose their paychecks this week. All three commercial casinos in the state – MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown, and MotorCity – have extended their COVID-19 shutdown through mid-April.
Employees have been told that their payments will cease beyond the original shutdown window. While employees will no longer be paid, they will see their benefits extended through June 30.
payments will cease beyond the original shutdown window
The casinos have stated they will remain closed until at least April 13. The announcement was made when President Trump announced that social distancing must continue through April 30. Therefore, the commercial casinos will likely revise their mid-April date in due course.
Difficult decision to make
These casinos are three of Detroit’s 26 gaming venues. The remaining casinos are tribal operated and not subject to the regulation of the state. All 26 casinos closed their doors after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a ban on large gatherings.
According to the president and CEO of Penn National Gaming, Jay Snowden, the decision to halt payment was difficult to make. Snowden stated that the company regrets the hardship that has been placed on employees and their loved ones. He concluded by saying:
We are extremely motivated and focused on reopening our properties as soon as it is safe and legal to do so.”
Due to the casino shutdown, Penn National has decided to cut the pay of Snowden and others in leadership roles. The board of directors will also forgo cash compensation. The company has an emergency relief fund of over $1.2m to help employees and local relief efforts.
The MGM Grand has also set up an emergency fund for employees. The company is working with other organizations to help employees find temporary employment during this difficult time.
MGM Resorts International pledges $1m
The owner of the MGM Grand, MGM Resorts International, has launched several initiatives to help employees as well as local communities where they offer services. The company pledged $1m for its employee emergency relief fund and has donated over 400,000 meals during this time of crisis.
The crisis and disaster relief fund created by MGM Resorts International will cover full-time and on-call employees. It will also help those who are laid off or furloughed.