Atlantic City casinos slow to bring back their staff


Despite being allowed to partially re-open in early-July following an over 100-day shut-down and the nine casinos in Atlantic City have reportedly yet to welcome back their full retinue of employees.

According to a Wednesday report from The Press of Atlantic City newspaper citing official information from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, casinos in the seaside city had 22,352 workers in August with the 2,767-room Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa from MGM Resorts International being the largest such employer with 3,128 on-site members of staff.

Obscuring ‘other’:

However, the newspaper reported that the aggregate August tally represented a drop of over 10% month-on-month in addition to being some 21% lower than for the same 31-day period in 2019. To make matters worse and the official figures purportedly also showed that 5,771 Atlantic City casino jobs had been listed under the ‘other’ classification, which typically encompasses temporary and seasonal positions but has since been expanded to include those temporarily furloughed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prudent progress:

Steve Callender serves as Eastern Region Operations Senior Vice-President for Eldorado Resorts Incorporated, which is responsible for the Tropicana Atlantic City venue, and he reportedly told The Press of Atlantic City that his firm was ‘being careful and making sure we have the right demand before we bring people back to work’.

Callender reportedly told the newspaper…

“The last thing we want to do is have people come back to work and then furlough them again.”

Annual association:

The Press of Atlantic City reported that the official August figures moreover disclosed a decrease of 28% year-on-year in terms of people holding a full-time position within a New Jersey casino. On the plus side and the newspaper detailed that this was an improvement on July’s tally with the number of those in the ‘other’ category having declined by more than 2,800 people.

Recent redundancies:

Regarding the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa and the newspaper reported that the Marina District property typically employs more than 5,000 individuals but ended August by announcing that it had officially laid off 2,295 people. Jane Bokunewicz, Institute Coordinator for Stockton University’s Levenson Institute for Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism, purportedly stated that this move is indicative of a local industry in flux as ‘most casinos are bringing back as many furloughed employees as they can and some are letting the rest go.’

Bokunewicz reportedly told The Press of Atlantic City…

“Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa may have been impacted more than other properties since it has more of a non-gaming footprint than others. The food and beverage and convention jobs would be among the most vulnerable under current circumstances.”

Elastic employment:

Callender additionally serves as President for the Casino Association of New Jersey and reportedly told the newspaper that his firm is among many that have begun offering alternate positions such as housekeepers and greeters to those members of staff who are unable to return to work because their posts are not yet needed.

The executive reportedly proclaimed…

“There are new roles and there are different jobs out there and we are doing our best to fill those. It’s been a challenge.”