Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino Lays Off 2,295 Employees

  • Reduced dining and resort services resulted in a lack of work for employees
  • Borgata’s job losses are part of 18,000 MGM layoffs across the United States
  • The resort has also sued rival Ocean for “poaching” six of its executives
Borgata Atlantic City
The Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City has laid off 2,295 employees because of reduced business resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Nearly half of Borgata’s workforce gone

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to inflict its toll on the United States gaming industry, this time in Atlantic City, as MGM Resorts International has announced that it has laid off 2,295 employees of the Borgata Hotel Casino. The employment terminations took effect on Monday, August 31.

42.5% of the Borgata’s workforce

The layoffs represent 42.5% of the Borgata’s workforce, leaving the luxury gambling resort with 3,100 people remaining on staff. In a Friday letter, MGM president and CEO Bill Hornbuckle said that if industry conditions improve, the company would like to rehire as many people that were laid off as possible.

Atlantic City casinos were permitted to reopen July 2, but New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy made a last-minute announcement that indoor dining would still be prohibited. As a result, the Borgata decided to delay its reopening, saying that “guests expect a special experience” and if the resort couldn’t offer that, the best decision was to remain closed. It finally opened three weeks later, even though indoor dining still was not permitted.

Indoor dining will finally be allowed in the Garden State this coming Friday. Many of the workers who lost their jobs were in non-gaming positions like dining and other hotel services; the closure of many indoor amenities has limited the number of people who have been able to return to work.

18,000 layoffs at MGM in US

The Borgata layoffs are part of a larger wave of job losses at MGM Resorts International. On Friday, the company announced 18,000 layoffs across the United States.

“Nothing pains me more than delivering news like this,” said Hornbuckle in a letter to employees.

“These decisions are never made lightly, and we deeply regret the hardship it will place on these individuals and their families,” he added.

Many MGM employees still remain furloughed, rather than permanently separated from the company. They will continue to receive health benefits through this month. Those who are hired back to their previous positions by the end of the year will retain their seniority.

Borgata in middle of lawsuit

The Borgata has also been in the news in the last few days because of the loss of two employees, but not as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The casino has filed a lawsuit against Atlantic City competitor Ocean Casino Resort for allegedly “poaching” six key staff members, accusing Ocean of intentionally doing so to “cripple” the Borgata’s business.

customers contributed a minimum of $25m to the Borgata’s bottom line

The primary focus is on William Callahan and Kelly Ashman Burke. Callahan, hired in late July, was tasked with handling Borgata high rollers who would spend between $1.5m and $4.5m per visit. His customers contributed a minimum of $25m to the Borgata’s bottom line each year. Even as recently as a week ago, Callahan allegedly refused to return his company phone to his former employer, which may contain important information and contact information for high rollers.

The Borgata claims that its former executives’ employment by a direct competitor violates their non-competition agreements. At least two of the executives, the MGM casino says, broke the agreement by signing on with Ocean within a year of leaving the Borgata.