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MGM says about half of pre-pandemic workforce has returned

About half of MGM Resorts International’s national pre-pandemic workforce is back.

“Since we’ve reopened — and as of a couple weeks ago, we’re now fully reopened — we’ve brought back probably close to about 50 percent of our workforce,” Jyoti Chopra, MGM senior vice president and chief people, inclusion and sustainability officer, said Wednesday.

The gaming and entertainment company furloughed the majority of its employees when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted nationwide shutdowns in March.

Chopra shared her company insights at a virtual Global Gaming Expo session titled “Navigating a Global Workforce Through 2020.”

MGM had employed about 70,000 full-time and part-time U.S. workers as of Dec. 31, according to company regulatory filings. It remained unclear how many of those employees are in Nevada, where MGM has historically been the state’s largest private-sector employer.

By the end of July, MGM had brought back less than 50 percent of its employees and on Aug. 31, the company laid off 18,000 employees, with President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle citing COVID-19’s economic impact on the gaming and hospitality industries.

Hotel-casinos in Nevada have been allowed to open under a set of health and safety restrictions since June 4. Every hotel-casino on the Strip will have reopened by Thursday, when The Cromwell returns as an adults-only venue. Yet, some properties like Encore decided the demand upon reopening wasn’t strong enough to stay open in full, and have since scaled back their hours.

Chopra, the MGM executive, was noncommittal when asked Wednesday whether the company has or has discussed similar plans at its own Strip properties.

“We are closely monitoring business volumes and levels,” she wrote in the panel chat. “At present all our properties in LV and across the nation are open and we hope to do everything we can to keep them open!”

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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