Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, business unit Navajo Nation, running the gambling bets of the tribe in Arizona and New Mexico, announced on Thursday plans to temporarily layoff in New Year more than 1100 employees.
Temporary layoffs to reduce costs
Business Gaming Enterprise noted in its announcement that due to the impact on revenues from protracted casino closings, it was left to move forward with layoffs, leaving only a minimum number of employees on the payroll 165to ensure that the basic functions in casinos are maintained.
Navajo Nation covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, and serves 4 casinos, Twin Arrows Casino Hotel in Flagstaff, state Grand Canyon and Fire Rock Casino at Church Rock, Northern Edge Casino in Farmington i Flowing Water Casino in Shiprock in The land of enchantment. A total of 4 gaming properties employ over 1200 people, incl 775 members of the tribal community.
Tribal officials have repeatedly voiced their concerns over the past few months that at some point layoffs would become necessary if casinos were not able to resume operations, at least with a limited number of seats.
"Due to the extended shutdown from March 17, 2020, our business activities have been severely disrupted, and as a result we have to make very difficult financial and personnel decisions."
Brian Parrish, Interim CEO, Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise
Durable closures also on cards
In reiterating its position, the tribe went further in its Thursday issue, warning that if the casinos were not reopened or more funds were allocated to keep the casinos operating, the tribe would be forced to permanently close their casinos. decision that may come by the end of January.
$ 25 million allocated from federal anti-virus aid in august has run out and the tribe's investment in of $ 460 millionbecause a permanent closure 4 casinos would lead to approx $ 220 million annual loss from revenues and other activities initial investment loss, according to the interim CEO Gaming Enterprise.
“It took years to develop the Nation vision, but the Nation has been successful. If it allows the game industry to collapse, a permanent closure will worsen Navajo's economic development in the long term, even if it eventually reopens. "
Quincy Natay, Chairman of the Board of Navajo Gaming Board
Brian Parrish concluded on a positive note, expressing his belief that the tribe's casinos can still reopen safely at reduced capacity and avoid the worst-case scenario.