On May 15, 2020, the Mississippi Gaming Commission issued its Order Authorizing Reopening (authorizing the reopening of Mississippi casino properties at 8:00 a.m., on Thursday, May 21, 2020) under the limitations described in Industry Letter 2020-01.
Even though the casinos in Louisiana and Mississippi continue to be closed under orders from the states’ governors and gaming regulators to address the coronavirus pandemic, we can speculate what a reopened gaming industry might look like in the Deep South once those orders are lifted.
Prior to entry into a casino, guests may be asked questions about their recent travel or health or exposure to someone with the virus. Patrons may have to walk through a device to check for elevated temperatures before being admitted. Social distancing will become the norm, and casino floors may be marked to indicate minimum distancing for patrons at locations such as hotel check-ins.…
Continue Reading What Will Reopened Casinos Look Like in Louisiana and Mississippi After the Coronavirus Shutdown Ends?
With nearly all (980 of 989) commercial and tribal casinos in the United States closed, affecting more than 650,000 directly employed persons during the novel coronavirus shutdown, there are specific sets of issues facing the gaming industry. We summarize some of the more important ones below.
Many gaming industry employers have taken one of several general tracks with respect to their employees. Some have elected to pay their employees for a defined period of time, regardless of whether they are presently able to perform their jobs or not. Others have issued blanket temporary furloughs to employees or terminated the employees, hoping to rehire those employees when conditions improve in the future. The federal legislation will provide benefits to employees and/or their employers, depending on the choice of how to proceed and what path to take under the possible scenarios. Culture of the companies also impacts decisions on these points; some company executives are deferring cash salaries for stock to improve company cash positions and keep more employees on the payroll, while others are taking reduced salaries or working for free, while still others are taking a salary but donating it to an employee fund. Benefits available to employers and employees under pending federal legislation may significantly impact the decisions employers make with respect to their employees.