Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta has temporarily laid off around 40,000 members of his workforce to reduce the economic effect of the coronavirus.
The Texas billionaire has closed Golden Nugget casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Lake Charles in Louisiana and Biloxi in Mississippi, but wants the government to allow him to reopen at limited capacity in a few weeks to avoid disaster.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Mr. Fertitta said: “We are doing basically no business. This is very hard on a lot of working families but we have to survive or there is no company. I think what we are doing with the shut-down is good but in a few weeks people will need to be around people. Otherwise you are going to go into an economic crisis that is going to take us years to dig ourselves out of.”
He wants his restaurants and casinos to be able to run at 30 per cent to 40 per cent of capacity to soften the economic impact of the restrictions and allow companies to stay in business.
The take-out option for his restaurants are only generating four to five per cent of business.
A statement to staff said: “All active full-time and part-time team members will receive two weeks of pay. All team members enrolled in the health plan will remain on furlough now through the end of the furlough period, or until June 30. All team members with a loss of hours are encouraged to reach out to the state as soon as possible regarding potential payment of unemployment benefits.”