Las Vegas Sands Staff to Receive Pay, Benefits Until at Least October 31

  • CEO Sheldon Adelson said LVS is likely the only casino company not to furlough, lay off staff
  • He told employees in a letter that their health, safety, livelihood remain a top priority
  • MGM Resorts told workers that a “large majority” would be laid off effective August 31
  • Wynn Resorts announced it will furlough employees, close down some midweek operations
  • Adelson sees LVS's Asian businesses “trending in the right direction”; COO Rob Goldstein views Vegas market “least favorably”
The Venetian Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip
In a rare move for the casino industry, Las Vegas Sands’ CEO wrote to staff that they will continue to receive their pay and benefits until at least October 31. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

CEO wrote employees a letter

Las Vegas Sands Corporation (LVS) has announced it will provide its workers with ongoing pay and benefits up until at least October 31.

“To my knowledge, we are the only company in our industry and likely one of few in the broader hospitality industry who has not furloughed or laid off employees because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” LVS chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson said in a letter dated July 29. The company recognized the “contributions and loyalty” of its staff in its decision, Adelson explained.

a challenge to other multinationals

CNBC television journalist Contessa Brewer shared the letter in a tweet, adding that LVS’s stance represented a challenge to other multinationals:

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the company is the “only gaming operator of the state’s six largest that has not furloughed or laid off staff”, in light of the impact that the coronavirus is having on Las Vegas tourism. The daily paper is owned by Adelson’s family.

Sands bucks the trend

Nevada has endured its deadliest week since the outbreak of COVID-19, with 86 deaths reported for the period July 19-25. Despite the Silver State’s struggles, Adelson told LVS staff they were “the foundation” of his company and that their health, safety, and livelihood remains paramount to the management team.

health, safety, and livelihood remains paramount

Earlier this week, Las Vegas Sun reported that MGM Resorts International had notified a “large majority” of its employees that they would be laid off effective August 31. These workers, who had been furloughed with benefits through the end of August, will cease to receive benefits on September 1.

Wynn Resorts Ltd said last week it would start furloughing employees and close down some Boston and Vegas operations on given midweek days. While Wynn did not divulge how many it would furlough, it is reported that during the 78 days of Nevada’s casinos closures, it invested nearly $250m in employee wages, tips, and benefits.

Better outlook East

Adelson’s announcement means pay and benefits will continue for employees of both its resorts on the Las Vegas Strip: The Palazzo and The Venetian. LVS operates one property in Singapore and five in Macao, with Adelson saying his Asia businesses are “trending in the right direction”.

In Las Vegas, combined net operating revenues for LVS in Q2 amounted to approximately $36m, compared to a total of $466m during the same quarter in 2019.

Answering a question by Joseph Richard Greff from JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s research division during an earnings conference call last week, LVS COO Rob Goldstein said that of all the corporation’s markets, he views Las Vegas “least favorably”.

“I don’t have a crystal ball into ’21. I remain pessimistic about group and convention. We’re in world of hurt here […] Vegas is dependent on airlift. It’s dependent on group and convention. In essence, we’re running a regional casino predicated on drive-in businesses,” Goldstein said in the edited transcript.