MGM Lays Off Thousands More Casino Employees As MA Casinos Try To Recover

Written By Derek Helling on September 1, 2020Last Updated on April 26, 2023

When any business is limited in the ways it can bring in revenue, there’s only one way to keep a profit alive; cut expenses. Another round of MGM Springfield layoffs represents that for the entertainment company.

Last week, MGM laid off 18,000 more employees across all properties nationwide. It’s uncertain when the company might start to re-hire any of them as well.

Why there was another round of MGM Springfield layoffs

Simply put, income is down. Additionally, there aren’t many prospects for a drastic, immediate increase in that regard. MGM’s gross revenue for July was down over 40% in a year-over-year comparison.

The casino is also pretty much operating at its current capacity. That goes not only in terms of the guests it can welcome at any one time, but also the types of entertainment it can offer.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) declined to allow MGM and Encore Boston Harbor to offer table games again. If that wasn’t limiting enough, there are also restrictions on indoor dining and live entertainment.

The MGC loosening those restrictions would clear the way for MGM to bring back some employees. Even then, it will be a tentative situation.

It will be difficult for MGM to predict how much of its normal crowd at the blackjack, craps, and poker tables will return when available.

A limited return for table games could bring some relief if played right, however.

Casinos across the country adapt to maximize profits

Casinos in other parts of the country have focused on maximizing the real estate they can use. This includes facilities in states where casinos can offer table games on a limited basis.

Those casinos use plexiglass shielding between seats and fresh cards after every game. Operators have also increased buy-ins to ensure they hit the numbers they need.

On the live entertainment side, another new scheme is outdoor concerts. In theory, that could work for Massachusetts casinos as well. The latest guidelines from Gov. Charlie Baker make the protocols clear for such offerings.

Baker set a limit on outdoor gatherings to either no more than 25% of the fire code capacity of the area or no more than eight people per 1,000 square feet, whichever is the lesser.

That may not sound like much, but it’s twice what the state currently allows for indoor events.

In a place like a parking lot, while the weather holds out, MGM Springfield and other casinos in the state could gather some income from outdoor concerts.

Although it may not make up for a 40% drop in gross revenue, it may bring back a few more of the thousands of employees out of work right now.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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