MGM President Thinks the Springfield Casino Can’t Get to 3,000 Employees
MGM Resorts president and CEO said Friday that it was “unrealistic” to expect its Springfield casino to return to its initially promised number of 3,000 jobs.
During a visit to Springfield to meet with city officials, Bill Hornbuckle said the resort had 1,440 employees and 279 openings. William stated that the milestone should be 2,000 employees, but not 3,000 because if it was 3,000, something had dynamically changed in this market.
Gambling revenues are about $22 million monthly, well below MGM’s projections. Hornbuckle said the casino had opened in August 2018 with more than 2,900 employees. In the months that followed, the number of employees dropped significantly. Hornbuckle blamed the staffing levels even more minor, in part, on the COVID-19 pandemic, but he also said the company had misjudged the Springfield market.
Hornbuckle came to Springfield a few weeks after some local officials again questioned MGM’s commitment to the city. They pointed to a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former employee who claimed the casino had misrepresented workforce diversity.
Hornbuckle on Friday declined to comment on the case. He noted that the company had met its financial obligations to Springfield — $107 million has been sent to the city — and once again had expressed his deepest respect for the local community.
Asked about the specific metrics MGM is aiming for, Hornbuckle said he wanted the Springfield casino to “lean more on the connection to the community.” He said the company had projections and budgets but no “economic benchmark, per se”.
Hornbuckle said he wanted to bring MGM Springfield “back to life.” He also announced the reopening and expanded hours of some restaurants and non-gambling entertainment and also said the casino plans to open for sports betting later this month.
Mayor Domenic Sarno thanked Hornbuckle for a visit and for being “straightforward” in his message. He mentioned that the pandemic had affected everyone, but things were being retooled, and they were still looking forward to reaching those goals: from MGM to other city projects. Sarno also stated they were going to keep focus and keep going.
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