Slow Help Is No Help: Detroit Casino Reopening May Be Too Late For Most Of The Employees

Article by : Helen Aug 4, 2020

The great news is that Detroit casinos have finally gotten the chance to open their doors to the public. However, such a report may not be entirely positive for employees who have been unemployed for months. This situation is quite common among the US gambling establishments, which were forced to send their employees on an unexpected vacation for months.

On Wednesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer officially gave permission to open 3 commercial casinos, namely:

  • MGM Resorts’ MGM Grand Detroit.
  • Penn National Gaming’s Greektown.
  • MotorCity.

Finally, after almost 5 months of stagnation, operators will start their activities on August 5. However, gambling houses will have to fulfill several precise requirements for the protection of visitors and personnel. The governor mentioned that the tribal casinos have already relaunched. They are sovereign structures and are not under the jurisdiction of state power. These operators were able to resume their activities without any significant incidents. Thus, the Detroit authorities concluded that similarly private casinos could also be opened.

Currently, gambling establishments have received a list of requirements that must be met to ensure the proper security level for visitors and staff. First of all, it concerns the number of visitors, which should not exceed 15% of the possible amount. Guests will be required to wear masks and undergo temperature screening if necessary. There are also certain restrictions on entertainment and self-service.
The limitation also touched upon such issues as:

  • Dealers will be required to wear protective masks.
  • The number of gamblers at the gaming table should also be limited.
  • Extension of the ban on organizing poker tables.
  • The gaming machines must have individual dividers.
  • The distance between fruit machines must be at least 6 feet.

The good news about the possibility of resuming their activities obliges the three commercial casinos to comply with restrictive measures. Regarding the number of players, no more than 3 people can gather at the playing table. For roulette and mini-baccarat tables, it can be up to 4 players. The most significant number of players can only be at the dice tables, where 6 clients can gather at once.

Guests will also face a non-smoking requirement on the playground. Therefore, the casino should think in advance about particular smoking areas. Equally important is the mandatory disinfection of all visible surfaces. It looks like the staff will have to work hard to meet these standards. However, imagine how busy they would be if the state authorities allowed establishments to increase the number of visitors by up to 50%, as has been done in other states.

Earlier, the MotorCity informed the state that it plans to lay off about 2,500 employees by July 31.

The operator’s management had previously stated that the layoffs were temporary. However, they still had to admit that some employees would likely not be able to return to their jobs. Besides, Greektown also stated that of the 2,000 employees who were forced to take leave, more than 600 would not be able to return. A month earlier, MGM also announced plans to lay off more than 2,600 employees.

Detroit casinos are far from the only gambling houses that have reported massive headcounts. However, as practice shows, for some operators, such steps allowed not only to reduce operating costs but also to obtain higher revenues. Some of the layoffs are directly related to workforce optimization. In any case, this certainly does not bode well for the thousands of employees who have worked in the casino for many years.


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