MGM Resorts Letting Go 18,000 US Employees

  • Separation letters have been sent to the previously furloughed staff who are now being laid off
  • Workers will have been furloughed for six months on August 31
  • Park MGM in Las Vegas and Empire City in New York are MGM casinos that remain closed
  • Tourism, travel, and business conferences are down significantly compared to one year ago
MGM Grand sign
MGM Resorts has announced that 18,000 employees who have been furloughed since the early stages of the pandemic will be permanently laid off. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Mass layoffs

MGM Resorts International announced on Friday that it is letting go 18,000 workers in the United States who were under furlough during the COVID-19 pandemic. Separation letters have been sent to these employees, meaning that the job cuts are now permanent.

Nothing pains me more than delivering news like this.”

In the separation letter, MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle said: “Nothing pains me more than delivering news like this.” He went on to say that the leadership team is working hard to find ways to drive up revenue and to hopefully get more people back to work. 

All workers that remain furloughed will receive their health benefits through September 30. MGM is also promising that those employees who return to their positions before the close of 2021 will retain seniority. 

As per federal law, workers are considered officially unemployed once they have been furloughed for at least six months. MGM employees will have been furloughed for six months on August 31.

Cutting costs

Hornbuckle also sent a letter to the company as a whole, outlining that business demand has been improving significantly, but reiterating that there are still struggles ahead. As part of its cost cutting measures, MGM is planning to permanently shut down 150 food and beverage locations. 

we deeply regret the hardship it will place on these individuals and their families.”

Speaking about the layoffs, Hornbuckle said: “These decisions are never made lightly, and we deeply regret the hardship it will place on these individuals and their families.” A number of MGM properties across the country remain closed, such as Empire City in New York and Park MGM in Las Vegas. 

Struggling demand

Casinos have reopened in most states since the COVID-19 pandemic forced nationwide shutdowns. However, with tourism levels lower than usual and business conferences and travel down, it is a difficult time for the gaming industry. 

Casinos are running at reduced capacity and hotel rooms are empty. There was a 61% year-on-year drop in visitors to Las Vegas in July, with hotel occupancy only 43% of what it was a year ago.

Casinos have been trying all sorts of promotions to try to attract visitors. MGM Resorts, for example, has been offering special rates to business professionals, pushing for them to “work from home” in Las Vegas hotel rooms. The D Las Vegas even bought flights for 2,000 people to visit the city, even if they didn’t stay at the casino.