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November 26, 2020

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Several Strip casino operators reducing staff amid pandemic

April 22, 2020 Strip Views

Steve Marcus

A view of the Encore and Wynn on the Las Vegas Strip Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

Updated Wednesday, July 22, 2020 | 9:31 p.m.

Several Las Vegas Strip resorts have announced jobs reductions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wynn Resorts, which operates Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, and Penn National Gaming, owner of the Tropicana, have announced layoffs or furloughs.

Circus Circus, meanwhile, plans to permanently lay off 252 workers by Sept. 1, according to a notice filed with the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

Circus Circus “has had to assess and make business decisions in order to effectively operate during these uncertain times,” a spokesman for owner Phil Ruffin said in a statement.

Officials hope “business volumes will recuperate sufficiently so that most of our employees can get back to work in the near future,” the statement said.

Wynn Resorts, which had about 15,000 employees in Las Vegas before the pandemic, paid workers through a two month-plus state-mandated shutdown.

“Although we retained all of our people while we were closed, we now know how challenged business volumes in Las Vegas are and are staffing to the significantly reduced demand,” a Wynn spokesperson said in a statement.

The statement did not say how many employees would lose their jobs but indicated most reductions could be classified as furloughs.

Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered casinos statewide closed beginning March 17 to help slow the spread of the virus. Casinos were allowed to start reopening June 4.

Also today, a Penn National Gaming spokesman said some Las Vegas employees at the Tropicana would likely not be called back to work when the Strip property reopens Sept. 1.

According to a letter from Mike Thoma, Tropicana’s assistant general manager, to state employment officials earlier this month, 620 workers will be permanently laid off in October.

Earlier this year, Penn National sent a notice to employees to inform them that furloughs could turn into permanent layoffs.

“To be clear, that does not necessarily mean that all those team members will be laid off,” Eric Schippers, the company’s senior vice president of public affairs, said in a statement.

In March, Penn National furloughed 26,000 employees nationwide.

“At the time, we were hopeful that we’d be able to call the employees back within a couple of months,” Schippers said. “However, while we have been able to reopen most of our properties on a limited basis, the continued social distancing requirements and uncertain business volumes means our properties will not be able to resume normal operations for the foreseeable future.”