MGM Grand Detroit casino to cut 1,100 furloughed workers as pandemic slows business - Detroit Free Press

MGM Grand Detroit casino to cut 1,100 furloughed workers as pandemic slows business - Detroit Free Press


MGM Grand Detroit casino to cut 1,100 furloughed workers as pandemic slows business - Detroit Free Press

Posted: 31 Aug 2020 08:21 AM PDT

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The MGM Grand Detroit casino plans to cut about 1,100 jobs as part of MGM's nationwide downsizing plan, a casino representative said.

MGM Resorts International is reportedly laying off 18,000 of its furloughed workers, effective Tuesday, because of slow business amid the coronavirus pandemic. Health insurance benefits for the affected workers will run through Sept. 30.

Detroit's three casinos reopened Aug. 5 with capacity restrictions, 4½ months after having closed for the pandemic.

The three properties' 15% capacity restriction is among the strictest COVID-19 rules in the country.

More: Ready or not, Detroit's three casinos reopen Wednesday with capacity restrictions

MGM Grand Detroit employs about 2,800 people. The other two casinos, MotorCity Casino Hotel and Greektown Casino-Hotel, have not announced any similar permanent layoff plans.

"Not only will the impact of the layoffs ripple through the rest of the economy, but the contraction in gaming revenues also means fewer tax dollars will be collected," casino industry observer Alex Calderone, managing director of the Birmingham-based Calderone Advisory Group, said about the MGM's 18,000 layoffs.

The contraction "will likely result in significant budgetary shortfalls across a number of state and local governmental entities," he said.

Contact JC Reindl:313-222-6631 or jcreindl@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter@jcreindl. Read more on business and sign up for our business newsletter.

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Barry Diller's IAC bets $1 billion on gambling giant MGM Resorts - New York Post

Posted: 10 Aug 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Barry Diller is making a big bet on Vegas.

The 78-year-old billionaire's tech-and-media conglomerate IAC, which has reaped a fortune from success stories like Expedia, Tinder and Vimeo, has taken a 12-percent stake in hotel and casino giant MGM Resorts in a deal valued at roughly $1 billion, the company announced on Monday.

Diller said he was drawn to MGM, owners of resorts like The Mirage, The Excalibur and Luxor, for its burgeoning online gaming business.

"What initially attracted us to MGM, besides its leadership in leisure, hospitality and gaming, was an area that currently comprises a tiny portion of its revenue – online gaming," Diller said in a press release Monday. "There is a digital first opportunity within MGM Resorts' already impressive offline businesses, and with our experience we hope we can strongly contribute to the growth of online gaming."

Diller — worth an estimated $3 billion, according to Forbes — said IAC has been on the hunt for deals since it spun off Tinder owner Match Group last month, leaving it with $3.9 billion of cash and zero debt.

The company swooped just as the casino and hotel business has been getting crushed by the pandemic.

Barry Diller
Barry DillerGetty Images

In its announcement Monday, IAC said Las Vegas-based MGM has enough cash and access to capital to make it through the pandemic stronger. In January, MGM sold MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay for $4.6 billion in a deal involving Blackstone Group. last year, a private equity firm bought Bellagio from MGM for $4.25 billion.

MGM currently operates over 35 percent of the rooms on the Las Vegas Strip and owns regional hotels and casinos across the US, as well as a handful of international properties, including two in Macau, China.

IAC's presser said the NYC-based media company has long been searching for an opportunity to get involved the $450 billion global gaming industry, which currently requires a physical presence in each state to operate in any particular region. With its investment in MGM, IAC now believes it now has a foothold to grow that business.

"Although we would never 'bet the company,' we know that this is a large bet for IAC," Diller and IAC CEO Joey Levin said in a joint statement to shareholders. "We have long been driven to look opportunistically for chances to build great interactive businesses and compound capital for our shareholders, and MGM has a rare but clear opportunity to deliver on that promise."

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