Navajo Announces Temporary Layoffs of 1,100 Casino Employees

Navajo Announces Temporary Layoffs of 1,100 Casino Employees

Navajo Nation announced layoffs or more than 1,100 employees on New Year’s Day. The layoff is temporary in nature.

Hard times befall on Navajo casinos

Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, which is the business entity of Navajo Nation and which operates its gambling properties in New Mexico and Arizona, announced 1,100 layoffs on New Year’s Day. The enterprise said that the impact on revenue from the prolonged closures of casinos has left it with no other choice but to go ahead with the layoffs. This move will keep only a minimum number of employees on its payroll i.e., 165 which ensures that all essential casino functions can operate.

Navajo Announces Temporary Layoffs of 1,100 Casino Employees

The Navajo Nation is spread across Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. It operates four casinos- Twin Arrows Casino Hotel, Flowing Water Casino, Northern Edge Casino, and Fire Rock Casino. The four properties employ 1,200 people of which 775 are members of the tribal community. Tribal officials have repeatedly said during the past year that there will come a time that layoffs will be the only solution if their gaming properties have to resume operations with limited capacity.

Interim CEO of Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise Brian Parrish said,

“Due to the extended closure, since March 17, 2020, our business operations have been severely impacted and as a result, we must make very difficult financial and personnel decisions.”

Could there be permanent closures?

The tribe stated in a press release on Thursday that if casinos are not allowed to reopen or if they are not provided more funding to keep operations running, they will be forced to shut down their casinos permanently.

The tribe’s $460 million investment is facing issues as its $25 million federal virus relief aid given in August has run out. The permanent closure of its four casinos will bring annual losses to the tune of $220 million from revenues and other economic activity. It would also lead to the loss of their entire initial investment. The Navajo Gaming Board chairman expressed his concerns and said that the permanent closure will damage the economic development of the tribe even if it reopens eventually.

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Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.