Louisiana casinos lose big during COVID-19 restrictions, thousands of layoffs ensue

Louisiana casinos lose big during covid restrictions, thousands of layoffs ensue

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - More than 4,000 casino employees across Louisiana are now officially out of work as executives look to stop the bleeding from COVID-19 restrictions.

Revenues for riverboat casinos were down 62 percent for the month of May compared to the same month last year, losing $99,982,870.

In Baton Rouge, casinos did not fare much better. In total the big three lost a combined $13,106,678.

Riverboat Revenues, According to Louisiana State Police:

Casino revenues for Baton Rouge area.
Casino revenues for Baton Rouge area. (Source: None)

L’Auberge of Baton Rouge was the only Riverboat casino in the parish that announced layoffs. 161 employees received WARN notices, letting them know terminations are expected.

Across Louisiana, 4,427 of those WARN notices were sent out, the most coming from Horseshoe Entertainment in Bossier City, Louisiana. Bossier City casinos by far experienced the most layoffs, losing an expected 1,875 jobs.

Wade Duty, the Executive Director at the Louisiana Casino Association, said these cuts were inevitable as the restrictions on casinos have cut capacities down 50 percent.

“We were closed for about two and a half months and then when we were allowed it was understandably under very limited circumstances,” Duty said. “So if you take any industry and say you can only operate at 50% of your capacity then the industry has to respond in some fashion and one of the few choices we can make is some staffing reductions.”

Duty said he expects this to be a one-time correction, not betting on any more layoffs of this magnitude however that is only if there are no more restrictions.

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