Thousands of workers that were furloughed when Atlantic City casinos closed last month. Casinos are entering their second month of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And casino employees are looking for any sort of good news these days.
Many of the casinos offered their employees severance pay until they were laid off. They were unable to collect unemployment benefits while receiving those benefits.
Unfortunately, these services are so backlogged that there are casino workers who have yet to receive any sort of checks.
Throwing casino employees a lifeline
Tilman Fertitta, the CEO/president of Landry’s which owns multiple franchises, including the NBA Houston Rockets and Golden Nugget Atlantic City announced some relief for employees last week.
The company created The Fertitta Entertainment/Employee Relief Fund to help the over 40,000 furloughed Landry’s employees. He contributed $1 million in seed money.
“Our employees are our most important resource,” Fertitta said in a statement.
“COVID-19 has taken a particularly harsh toll on all aspects of the hospitality industry where we are heavily invested. It is our hope this fund will provide some much-needed relief for our valued employees.”
When Golden Nugget casino employees were let go back on March 19, they were informed, via letter, that they will receive two weeks’ pay and their health insurance paid through June 30.
However, according to Texas Monthly, only the salaried workers received that pay while hourly workers simply had their hours reduced to none, according to Texas Monthly.
A noble gesture might not be enough
AC casinos will remain closed until further notice. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding when they will open and if everyone will be hired back when they do.
As such, establishing the fund is a noble gesture from an employer who obviously wants to do right by his workers. When you do the math, the potential payout per employee isn’t all that much.
If all 40,000 of Fertitta’s furloughed employees put in a request for a piece of that million-dollar seed offering, each person would only receive just $25.
Now, the fund is accepting donations, so it has the potential to grow. The fund will need more money to really help these employees feel a little safer as they try to ride out the pandemic.
Honestly, the fund is only a small life-preserver to people that are trying not to drown fiscally. Right now, though, any relief for casino employees is huge.