Golden Nugget employees all over the United States have received a lifeline with owner Tilman Fertitta announcing a relief fund for the franchise’s furloughed casino workers.
There were thousands of people laid off because of the closure of Atlantic City casinos in March. Those that are unemployed are looking for any good news in these tough times.
There was severance pay offered to the casino employees until they lost their jobs. However, they could collect unemployment benefits if they received severance pay. The unemployment services in New Jersey and Atlantic City are backlogged, so laid-off casino workers are yet to receive any kind of remuneration.
The Fertitta Entertainment/Employee Relief Fund was set up to aid the 40,000-plus furloughed employees that work for Landry’s, Inc., which owns the Golden Nugget casino brand, the Houston Rockets of the NBA, and hundreds of restaurants nationwide. Fertitta donated $1 million to the fund in seed money.
“Our employees are our most important resource. COVID-19 has taken a particularly harsh toll on all aspects of the hospitality industry where we are heavily invested. It is our hope this fund will provide some much-needed relief for our valued employees,” Fertitta said.
Golden Nugget were let go on March 19 with two weeks’ pay. They were also informed that their health insurance would be paid until June 30. However, the Texas Monthly reported that only employees that received a salary got the relief pay while employees that were paid hourly had their hours decreased to none.
It remains to be seen just how effective the Landry’s relief fund will be. Of the $1 million that kickstarted the kitty, each of the company’s 40,000-plus workers would receive less than $25 each. The fund is set up for donations, but it would have to grow exponentially to provide any significant financial relief to Landry’s workers.