Casino Layoffs Continue With 1,100 MGM Grand Detroit Employees

Posted By Matt Schoch on September 1, 2020

A massive company-wide layoff by MGM Resorts International will result in more than a thousand job losses in Detroit.

MGM Grand Detroit confirmed to PlayMichigan that 1,100 furloughed workers will be permanently laid off on Monday.

The layoffs are because of COVID-19 business disruptions and are part of a restructuring that will cost 18,000 jobs nationwide.

When added to Detroit’s other two commercial casinos, about 3,000 workers will be permanently laid off from the pandemic.

The pandemic closed Detroit’s casinos on March 16, only five days after regulated sports betting opened for the downtown gambling halls.

Only some MGM casino employees called back

MGM Grand Detroit reopened on Aug. 7 after more than four months of closure because of the pandemic.

The Detroit casinos are under restrictions right now, including 15% capacity limits and no smoking inside.

In May, MGM Grand Detroit issued a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice to the state of Michigan indicating 2,632 employees would be temporarily laid off while the casino was closed.

The company will continue to pay health care benefits through Sept. 30 for laid-off employees, who could be recalled without penalty as the industry landscape changes.

In addition, employees called back by Dec. 31 would retain their seniority and immediately resume their benefits.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, the company’s laid-off workers would be eligible for support through the MGM Employee Emergency Grand Fund through Nov. 29. The company said more than $12 million in emergency assistance has been paid out to affected MGM employees since the start of the pandemic.

Tax revenue takes big hit from casino closures

In addition, the closures of MGM, Greektown Casino-Hotel and MotorCity Casino had an enormous impact on public budgets.

Through July, the year-to-date revenue for the casinos was down 65%.

The state of Michigan had received $45 million less than in 2019, and the city of Detroit had a $66.1 million downturn of casino tax revenue.

Corporate owners such as MGM, MotorCity’s Ilitch Holdings, and Greektown’s Penn National Gaming also had big losses from the closures.

MGM is not the only one of Detroit’s casinos to suffer job losses because of the pandemic.

MotorCity, Greektown also had job losses

MotorCity Casino reopened two days before MGM but also brought back a smaller workforce.

A July 22 WARN notice indicated MotorCity would lay off 2,554 employees. According to General Manager Bruce Dall, the Ilitch Holdings casino brought back 50% of its employees upon reopening on Aug. 5.

The displaced workers were set to lose their health insurance benefits on Monday.

In June, Greektown announced it would be laying off 621 employees starting on Sept. 15.

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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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