Caesars Entertainment has launched a new assistance fund to support staff and local communities across the US negatively impacted by the outbreak of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
The Caesars Cares imitative will be funded by donations from the operator’s board of directors and executives, collected while the operator’s properties have been closed due to the coronavirus.
All commercial casinos in the US are currently shut and it is not yet clear when they will be permitted to re-open.
Lifeboat, a Louisiana-based public charity, will administer Caesars Cares, with support from an independent board of directors including a representative from Caesars. The board will evaluate applications for assistance to help Caesars team members.
Meanwhile, donations made by Caesars Foundation will also be used to support charities tackling issues related to Covid-19 in the communities where Caesars operates.
Caesars has already donated to food banks, as well as providing cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment items to first responders and medical facilities.
Most recently, the operator donated cots and bed linens, pillows and hygiene kits to homeless shelters and care facilities across the US.
“Caesars’ culture has always been based on caring for our people and our communities,” Caesars chief executive Tony Rodio said. “Caesars Cares will be available to our work force nationwide, and Caesars Foundation will support local charities engaged in fighting this public health emergency.
“These initiatives reinforce this caring tradition and are certainly appropriate in these challenging circumstances.”
Earlier this month, Caesars announced that it had furloughed around 90% of its total workforce in response to the temporary shutdown of its casino properties due to the outbreak.
Caesars said all staff placed on furlough remain employees of the business and it committed to paying furloughed employees for the first two weeks of the shut-down.
In addition, 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 until their return to work, whichever comes sooner.
“Support in the forms of extended pay, paid time off and uninterrupted, company-paid medical benefits through the earlier of employees’ return to work and June 30, 2020, for employees enrolled in company-sponsored health plans, as well as government assistance, will be a financial bridge for most of our furloughed employees until they return to work,” Rodio said.
“However, some team members at our properties may suffer other unexpected setbacks that require additional help.”