Wynn, MGM Employees Still on the Payroll

Though layoffs have begun at MGM Resorts International, the company has pledged to continue to pay the staff it retains, including part-timers. Wynn also is extending the commitment to tipped employees at its two Las Vegas resorts (l.) and employees of Encore Boston Harbor.

Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International say they’ll continue paying their workers during the casino shutdown imposed in Nevada last week to help in the battle against the coronavirus.

Both companies are extending the commitment to all employees, not only full-timers.

In Wynn’s case this includes employees of Encore Boston Harbor, which is under a similar closure order in Massachusetts, and tipped employees, who will be paid on the basis of an average calculated since the start of the year, according to a memo distributed to employees at the two Las Vegas resorts and obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Wynn’s casino hotels on the Las Vegas Strip𑁋Wynn Las Vegas and Encore𑁋employ approximately 4,000 people.

“I need you to focus and work on a singular task: stay home and keep your family healthy and safe,” CEO Matt Maddox said in the memo.

MGM, which employs some 70,000 people at its 20 U.S. properties, all of which, including the 13 in Las Vegas, are closed, has committed to paying employees for at least two weeks and health benefits through June 30. The company also has begun laying off workers, as has Caesars Entertainment, which operates eight Strip resorts, the Sahara Las Vegas and others.

“Our policies and benefits are evolving along with the rapidly changing news and predictions of how long this could grind businesses to a halt across the country,” an MGM spokesman said.

Prior to last week’s closure order, MGM canceled a planned $1.25 billion share buyback, one of several major operators nationwide that began moving actively to marshal cash as the contagion’s impacts widened. The company has said more recently it planned to start drawing down as much as $1.5 billion of its backup loans.

Wynn, meanwhile, has begun drawing on an $850 million line of credit.

Caesars, which is reported to be fully drawn on three credit facilities totaling $1.15 billion, declined comment on its layoffs, according to a report in the Nevada Independent.

A statement from the Sahara issued prior to the statewide closure order said the virus’ impact has “forced (the company) to make drastic cuts to its operations, adding the property will “continue to evaluate the business and make operational adjustments as necessary, with the hope of returning team members to work once these challenges have passed.”

A spokeswoman told the Review-Journal that employees will retain their company-paid benefits.