May 11, 2009

Casino staff reductions play for time

Casinos in Las Vegas are adjusting to the economic downturn by cutting prices and reducing staffing levels, The Las Vegas Sun reported.

MGM Mirage led the list of casino staff reductions, ending 2008 with 46,000 full time employees, compared to 54,700 at the end of 2007.

The ranks of part time employees at the casino grew in 2008, from 12,700 to 15,000, the newspaper said.

Harrah's Entertainment cut its staff size from 87,000 to 80,000 in 2008. Union positions at Harrah's declined from 28,000 to 26,000 over the course of the year.

Many casinos adjust their staff through attrition or allowing established employees to request part time work or time off. This year, however, even management staff members have job worries, the newspaper said.

Reluctant to reduce staff who interact with customers, MGM Mirage, which cut hundreds of millions of dollars from its operating costs recently, cut 400 middle management positions in 2008, a move that had no negative impact on business, the Sun reported.

Although union jobs declined by about 1,300 in 2008, the number is expected to jump by 10,000 when the CityCenter resort opens near the end of the year, the newspaper said.