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MGM Resorts set to permanently lay off 18,000 workers

News that MGM Resorts will be permanently laying off at least 18,000 employees is something that seems all to inevitable for the struggling land-based casino business. After all, even the busiest, most successful casinos in the world have trouble operating at half-capacity in a year that included a three-month forced shutdown. What’s really awful is that MGM Resorts are likely just the leading edge of what looks to be a terrible season of layoffs and permanent job losses.

KTNV TV in Las Vegas reports that the company will be laying off thousands of employees worldwide, it’s unclear how many from Las Vegas will be impacted. That said, 18,000 workers represents about a quarter of the MGM’s total, worldwide staff. The cuts are absolutely devastating on a personal level as service industry workers face a grueling job market that’s not exactly bursting with restaurant and casino jobs.

Tiffani Chappell, a former cocktail waitress for MGM Resorts described her situation to KTNV saying, “It’s hard. You lose your job at the spur of the moment and you just don’t know what to do. I mean you can’t find another job because a lot of places haven’t even brought back their staff so they can’t hire any new staff it’s hard.”

MGM Resorts CEO and President, Bill Hornbuckle broke the news to employees in a letter saying, “It has been nearly six months since we temporarily closed all our U.S. properties due to COVID-19 and were forced to furlough nearly our entire domestic workforce. While we have safely resumed operations at many of our properties and have returned tens of thousands of our colleagues to work, our industry – and country – continues to be impacted by the pandemic, and we have not returned to full operating capacity.

For the protection of workers, federal law requires companies to provide a date of separation for furloughed
employees who are not recalled within six months. Regrettably, August 31, marks the date of separation
for thousands of MGM Resorts employees whom we have not yet been able to bring back.”

Though the cuts are devastating, the company is providing health benefits for laid off employees until the end of September.