Layoffs Announced at Las Vegas Sands - 8 News NOW

Layoffs Announced at Las Vegas Sands

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There was another round of layoffs Friday on the Las Vegas Strip. The parent company of the Venetian and the Palazzo confirmed it handed 216 people their walking papers. The company says the layoffs are part of an overall plan to trim $100 million in spending for next year.

An exact tally of just how many gaming workers have been laid off since this recession began is hard to come by, but experts caution cutting too deep could hurt the ability of the destination to recover when the economy finally does turn around.

Between them, the Venetian and the Palazzo employ about 10,000 workers. Las Vegas Sands says the cuts represent just two-percent of its overall Las Vegas workforce. The company also confirmed it will cut $6.5 million in management bonuses.

"I think Las Vegas Sands, with their Venetian and Palazzo properties here in Vegas, have held out for longer than some of their peers. We have seen MGM and Station, for example, layoff folks, unfortunately. And Las Vegas Sands has held out despite having the same revenue issues," said Bill Lerner with Deutsche Bank.

Official state statistics do not break out the specific number of layoffs on the Strip. But just this week, regulators reported Strip gaming revenue dropped nearly 26-percent from the same period last year with visitor volume off 10-percent.

"I think that cutting your way to profitability is a bad idea, even in this tough economic time," said UNLV Gaming Research Director David Schwartz.

Schwartz is concerned if property cuts are too deep service could suffer and the path to recovery will be more difficult, "So what if someone comes here on one of these really good deals and finds that the place is a mess. They are probably not going to come back when they have enough money to travel anywhere they want and pay top price."

And service quality is something visitor Marta Hawotte has already noticed during this visit, "It is very hard to get a drink in the casino. There isn't anybody available to come up and serve you a drink."

Despite the constant drumbeat of layoff reports, the latest state statistics paint a surprising picture when it comes to jobs in the casino hotel and gaming sector. From October of 2007 through October of 2008, statistics show a net job loss of just 600 people in Clark County. The state reports the sector lost 2,600 jobs but gained another 2,000 by property openings.

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