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Caesars furloughs 90% of staff over Covid-19 shutdown


Caesars Entertainment Corporation has announced that it has furloughed around 90% of its total workforce in response to the temporary shutdown of its casino properties due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

The operator said it expects the furloughs to impact employees at its US-owned properties as well as corporate staff. All individuals placed on furlough will remain as employees of the business throughout the period, Caesars said.

Caesars-owned properties across the US have been closed for a number of weeks due to individual state orders for all non-essential businesses to close, in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

All commercial casinos in the country are currently closed and it is not yet clear when they will be permitted to re-open, with the number of coronavirus cases and related deaths still on the increase. A number of states, including Nevada and Illinois, have extended initial closure periods until at least the end of April.

Caesars committed to paying all furloughed employees for the first two weeks of the closure period for each casino location, with these staff also able to use their available paid time.

For furloughed staff enrolled in the Caesars health benefit plans, the operator said it would pay 100% of health insurance premiums until June 30, or their return to work, whichever comes sooner.

“Given the closure of our properties, we are taking difficult but necessary steps to protect the company’s financial position and its ability to recover when circumstances allow us to reopen and begin welcoming our guests and employees back to our properties,” Caesars Entertainment chief executive Tony Rodio said.

“The company entered this crisis with strong operating performance, which, combined with the steps we are taking now, are critical to the future of our company.”

Caesars is the latest major gambling business in the US to announce it would be furloughing employees as a result of the coronavirus crisis. International Game Technology has implemented a temporary furlough programme that will impact 2,300 staff.

Penn National Gaming and Churchill Downs Incorporated and Scientific Games have also announced similar measures.