Las Vegas Sands Promises to Pay Employees Through at Least October 31

While most casino and hospitality companies have laid off or furloughed their staff en mass, Las Vegas Sands, the company owned and controlled by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, has bucked the trend.

In an official letter earlier this week, Adelson said that Las Vegas Sands will continue paying its 10,000-strong work force through at least October 31 as well as cover health benefits. While not specifying an extension period, Adelson didn’t rule the possibility of extending payments further should team members not be able to return back to normal.

Addressing staff members, Adelson said that while the company was faced with a strong economic downturn, he was aware of the personal hardships that members experienced. It was a priority to him, he said, and the executive team to make sure that every staff member is safe and coping well.

Sands has refused to furlough or lay off workers at the behest of Adelson who has created a hospitality and gaming company that has been known to put tremendous value on the people who work for it.

The latest announcement just goes to show LVS’ commitment to doing the right thing at a time when businesses are forced to shed workers quicker than they can re-hire them in what is the worst economic crisis the United States has seen since the Great Depression.

MGM Resorts International Posts $50.4m Loss in First Half-Year

MGM Resorts International has reported operational results placing the company at $50.4 million loss for the first half of the year and in Q2. Net revenue by June 30 amounted to $2.54 billion, down 60% from last year’s $6.40 billion.

MGM’s over-reliance on the brick-and-mortar segment has impacted the company’s results across the board, leaving very little room for adaptation. Many properties stayed closed in Las Vegas, even though Gov. Steve Sisolak gave a formal go ahead on June 4. Nevertheless, MGM’s Excalibur and Luxor remained closed through June 11 and June 25 respectively.

Restrictions in Macau hit revenue in the special administrative region with the company reporting only $306.6 million or a 78.8% drop in operations. Naturally, casinos cost halved down to $829.1 million from $1.79 billion, but that wasn’t enough to offset the missing revenue from patrons who simply couldn’t cross the border with Macau.

With Las Vegas tipped for a slow recovery that could take up to 36 months, brick-and-mortar properties will be faced with mounting challenges to stay competitive.

Michigan’s Mayor Allows Casinos to Reopen

Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan, has allowed casinos to reopen starting on August 5. The permission will encompass the three commercial casinos in the state, including MGM Grand, MotorCity Casino, and Greektown Casino.

All three properties are located in Detroit and have been closed since March 16, resulting into the properties to bear one of the worst brunts of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, Michigan casinos are now restarting and they will have to comply with specific prerequisites.

According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), all venues will have to reopen as per 15% capacity, which could make their operational non-lucrative some fear. However, this is a final decision by the MGCB and it may be revised only if there is a let-up in the rate of new infections in Michigan.

Governor Whitmer did explain that Michiganders cannot afford to drop their guard, as the novel coronavirus cases kept climbing up. She added:

“After seeing a resurgence in cases connected to social gatherings across the state, we must further limit gatherings for the health of our community and economy. By taking these strong actions, we will be better positioned to get our children back into classrooms and avoid a potentially devastating second wave.”

The allowed capacity thought still raises the question if the three casinos can find a way to make this sustainable.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Approves GiG License

New Jersey can now welcome a new iGaming player on the market with Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) blasting its way through the front door after New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement gave its full support.

GiG has been waiting for the license since 2018 and has been providing sportsbook solutions to Hard Rock International since then. Richard Brown, GiG chief executive said he was delighted to see the license approved so that GiG may finally established a footprint in the state other than sports betting.

GiG has had a strong year. It has agreed to sell its B2C assets, including, Guts, Kaboo and Thrills online casinos, to Betsson. The estimated cost is around $34 million.

How Bad Were Nevada’s Casinos Hit in June?

While revenue fell 45.6% in June, Nevada has proven to be quite resilient. Air travel cut off, tourists trickling at a very modest rate across the state border, and Gov. Steve Sisolak enforcing some of the strictest rules in the entire country, Nevada’s casinos have done fairly well.

True, in purely financial dimensions, we saw a 45.6% decline, but that isn’t half-bad given the state’s complete suspension of all gaming operations. Casinos only reopened on June 4, with severe air travel restrictions already imposed on the states and inter-state quarantine gaining momentum as a way to counteract the growing number of COVID-19 infections.

In the interim between June and March, Nevada had very few activities and verticals to rely on. The state saw online poker pick up thanks to Caesars Entertainment’s WSOP.com brand and then some sports betting coming back in June. Sportsbooks in June managed to handle as much as $77.9 million, signaling a fairly reassuring return to normality.

The sports season has also started again, with the NBA, NASCAR, golf and multiple UFC events taking place already. Soccer in Europe has returned, and Nevada’s sports fans are already hot on the trail. Still, casinos on the Las Vegas strip have had a very slow recovery with results plummeting to 61.4% year-on-year. Players did spend $1.87 billion on slots, though, and results are slowly climbing back up. It all depends on Nevada remaining open now.