Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Perhaps for the first time, the affect of legalized casino gaming in Ohio is truly being felt in southeast Indiana.
Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg reduced its staff by approximately 160 positions. Nearly all the affected employees were being notified Wednesday, although some employees say they were laid off Tuesday.
“In the wake of the continued softness in consumer spending and the expansion and evolution of the gaming industry throughout Ohio, it was necessary for us to right size our work force,” Hollywood Casino general manager Joe Hasson said, adding the Indiana Gaming Commission has been notified of the decision.
The layoffs leave about 1,400 employees at the Lawrenceburg riverboat.
Hasson said the let-go employees will receive first consideration in applying for any new positions that become available in Lawrenceburg or elsewhere at casinos owned by Penn National Gaming.
According to one of those laid off employees, 77 of the laid off people were dealers and some of those terminated have been offered severance packages. The former employee claimed the casino is planning to hire for 31 part-time dealer positions.
Those looking for a reason for the layoffs may not have to look further than the bottom line. In July, Hollywood Casino recorded $33.3 million in revenue, a 13.4 percent drop from the same month in 2011, according to Indiana Gaming Commission monthly revenue reports.
Hasson’s belief that soft consumer spending contributed to the belt-tightening may also be founded. The number of visitors at the casino declined 17.8 percent to 284,385 in July.
Those gamblers may be taking their dollars to new casinos in Ohio. In 2009, Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow four casinos in the state. In addition to a 1,700 video lottery terminal “racino” at Scioto Downs Horse Racing Track near Columbus, full-fledged casinos have opened in Cleveland and Toledo in 2012.
Two more casinos will open in coming months. Penn National’s Hollywood Casino in Columbus is set to welcome the public on October 8. The Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati will open in the spring of 2013.