MGM Resorts says 'large majority' of entertainment employees could be laid off in August

Shares of the company were down 5 percent Monday

MGM Resorts has sent out a letter to employees informing them of likely layoffs.

In the note, the company said its live entertainment sector, which has been shut down since March, will not resume before Aug. 31. As a result, many entertainment employees "will be separated from the company." 

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“Given that it is unlikely that concerts and other entertainment events will be returning to Las Vegas in the next month, it has unfortunately impacted the employees who support those shows," the company told FOX Business. "We’ve pledged to be as transparent and supportive as possible with employees and are working to reduce the impact and help them moving forward."

The letter notes that any employee who isn’t called back to work on or before Aug. 31 “will be separated from the company,’ and that will include “large majority” of entertainment staffers.

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Furloughed employees with MGM health plans will continue to receive benefits through that date and the company will continue to process grants for expenses like groceries and housing.

For employees separated from the company, the layoffs come at a time when unemployment is already high in big gambling states like Nevada and New Jersey, which had June jobless rates of 15 percent and 16.6 percent, respectively, compared to the overall U.S. rate at 11.1 percent.

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George Kilavkoff, the company’s president of entertainment and sports, said in a letter obtained by Vital Vegas blog: "When our properties closed in March, we were hopeful that our closure would be brief, and we would soon be back to entertaining our guests,” he wrote. “Based on the health data we now have, we do not believe it will be safe to restart shows prior to August 31, 2020. As a result, we will be canceling the remainder of our August performances.”

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A group of people gamblers playing gambling poker roulette in a casino.

The letter cited the safety of guests and employees as a reason for the hold on live entertainment. The move coincides with a growing number of coronavirus cases throughout the United States.

It did not The letter did not mention specific venues where concerts and shows will be canceled but said reopenings will be determined multifaceted and based on the latest health guidance.

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“We remain committed to reopening all of our entertainment venues when it is safe to do so and our plan is to bring back as many of our division employees as possible,” he said. “The decision about when to reinstate entertainment at out properties will continue to be driven by health and safety mandates and guidelines establish by government agencies and by business demand.”

MGM Resorts International shares were down 5 percent Monday and have sunk 51 percent on the year.