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Boyd Gaming places majority of staff on unpaid furlough


Land-based gambling operator Boyd Gaming has set out a number of additional measures to mitigate the financial impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, including placing most of its staff on unpaid furlough.

All commercial casinos in the US are currently closed due to the outbreak, and with the number of confirmed coronavirus cases and related deaths continuing to rise in the country, it is not yet clear when they will reopen.

Boyd, which temporarily closed its casinos in mid-March, had already suspended its quarterly cash dividend due to the continued effects of the coronavirus and has now announced further measures.

These include placing the majority of its team members on unpaid furlough from April 11. For furloughed staff enrolled in the operator’s health care plans, Boyd said it would pay all insurance premiums until June 30 or their return to work, whichever comes sooner.

Boyd added that a limited number of essential team members would remain on its payroll during the period of closure.

“This is by far the most difficult decision we have ever made,” Boyd Gaming chief executive and president Keith Smith said. “We care deeply about the well-being of our team members, which is why we maintained full pay and benefits through April 10.

“Implementing furloughs was a last resort for us, but a necessary step to protect our company, especially given the current lack of visibility regarding property re-openings.”

Meanwhile, Boyd also announced that its executive leadership team would take “significant salary reductions”, while its board of directors agreed to suspend all board compensation. All non-furloughed members of the Boyd corporate and property management teams will also take a salary cut.

Other cost-containment measures include postponing all non-essential spending indefinitely, as well as suspending all of its capital projects, with these to be re-evaluated by the board.

“As a result of these difficult but necessary actions, we are confident Boyd Gaming will have sufficient liquidity and resources to sustain itself until we are able to re-open for business,” Smith said.

“We will continue to carefully review our operations and expenditures during the closure period and make additional adjustments as necessary.”