On Friday March 20, the off-Strip Silverton casino in Vegas announced that more than 600 employees have been furloughed.
Craig Cavileer, Chief Executive of the 300-room hotel and casino, explained that the Hyatt Place Las Vegas at Silverton Village will stay open amid coronavirus crisis. This 150-room Hyatt-branded non-gaming facility opened in October 2019, and runs an essential license business, meaning it stay open under Gov. Steve Sisolak’s executive order to shutdown non-essential businesses.
The CEO said in a statement: “Conforming with communications of the governor and other authorities as to essential and non-essential categories, we operate in both the gaming and non-gaming environment and the governor’s made it clear on how we operate in those circumstances.”
He went on to say that all “mission-critical workers” will remain on the job. This includes surveillance staff, security, and a skeleton crew for operations. However, with business down and safety a top priority now, around 800 employees have been furloughed.
While concerned about the impact the coronavirus is having on the business, Cavileer stated that this sector has endured tough times in the past and has remained resilient.
“I was right out of college during the ‘87 (stock market) crash, went through the dot-com collapse in ‘92, all of us through 9/11 and (the recession) in ‘08,” he said.
“Twenty-three of those years were in Vegas doing what we’re doing now. I know for sure we’re going to get through it. What I don’t know is when, but I know we will because we always do.”
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, more than 600,000 casino workers have been furloughed or laid off because of the pandemic.
In a statement released on Thursday, March 19 by the American Gaming Association, they reported that 95 percent of the country’s 465 commercial casinos and 76 percent of all tribal gambling operators have either been ordered to shut down or have voluntarily chosen to do so.
The federal government has been working on a stimulus package to help businesses and workers mostly affected by the virus, and it is expected that casinos will be seeking some form of financial help. Many of the workers who have been suspended as a result of the coronavirus will also be filing for unemployment benefits and seeking other financial assistance on offer.