Casino News

Labor Day Marks Start of Atlantic City Seasonal Employee Layoffs

Atlantic City will see layoffs of seasonal employees start after Labor Day, with the nine hotel and casino properties in the resort also to shed some jobs with the summer coming to an end.

Only a couple of months after the casino industry of Atlantic City reported employing over 30,000 people for the first time in almost four years, the overall number of workers there is expected to fall below that threshold. Still, industry experts shared an opinion that the results are still not alarming, even in case that this year’s numbers look worse.

The openings of the Ocean Resort Casino and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in June brought more workers to Atlantic City, with casino employment being pushed beyond the 30,000 mark. As revealed by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) of New Jersey, 6,877 more people were employed by the local casino resorts in August in comparison to 2017.

According to information shared by the DGE, the total number of people employed by AC casinos was 30,217. Out of them, 22,177 were the full-time jobs, while the number of part-time casino workers was 2,973. The remaining 5,067 positions were categorized as “other”, which usually describes the category of temporary and seasonal workers.

The former executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Jim Kennedy, commented on the expected layoffs, sharing his expectations to see no less than 1,000 people to be dismissed from their positions between Labor Day and October. According to Mr. Kennedy, the decline would come as a part of the normal seasonal employment’s fluctuation.

Layoffs at Two New Casinos in AC Will Make Employment Picture Look Worse

Bob McDevitt, president of Unite Here Local 54, the union representing local casino workers, commented on the expected seasonal job dismissals, the two new properties in Atlantic City would also see some layoffs to cut over-staffing. According to him, possible job cuts in both the Ocean Resort Casino and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City venues will make the employment landscape in the region seem even worse.

“When you open a casino, you always overhire, as a practice, because you don’t know who is going to show up those first few days. (…) Every casino that has ever opened has had to lay off.” – Bob McDevitt

The last time when the number of employees in the Atlantic City casinos passed the 30,000 threshold, was in 2014. As mentioned above, the two new casinos in the resort have helped push the total employment of the industry back over that mark.

Both the Ocean Resort Casino and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City started operation on June 27th. The two new resorts accounted for a combined 8,184 jobs in July, a figure which represented 27% of the industry’s total. The total number of jobs at the Hard Rock amounted to 4,393, while Ocean Resort’s employees totaled 3,791, making them respectively the second- and third-largest employees in Atlantic City after Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. The later remained the top job creator in the AC casino sector, reporting 5,938 employees in July.