IGT is one of the latest gambling companies to temporarily furlough staff due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, International Game Technology (IGT) announced a temporary furlough programme for staff in the US as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the announcement, 2,300 IGT employees in the US will be impacted by the furlough scheme.
Robert Vincent, Chairman of IGT Global Solutions Corporation, said that the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the company’s customers and markets. The company has prioritized the health and safety of staff and clients as it continues to serve stakeholders.
IGT’s furlough programme
IGT’s furlough programme will last for eight weeks and comes into effect today (April 6). Employees will continue to receive health and welfare benefits for the duration of the furlough period.
In the announcement, IGT said: “We are taking specific actions to bring our operations in line with customer and player demand. These include base salary reductions for senior leaders and the implementation of short-term furlough programs for certain employee groups.
“We will continue to work diligently to support the welfare of our people with a focus on our industry’s short-term sustainability and longer-term success.”
How are other companies responding to COVID-19?
Several other gambling companies have made the decision to furlough staff in an attempt to offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on operations. Last week, Caesars Entertainment Corporation also announced that it would furlough 90% of its staff in response to the temporary closure of its casino properties across the US amid the pandemic.
Penn National Gaming and Churchill Downs Incorporated also announced plans to furlough staff to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Other companies such as MGM Resorts International have gone a step further and created a relief fund to help employees and their families who have been impacted by the outbreak. Scientific Games also announced that its executive leadership will reduce their salaries by 50% while the supplier’s chief executive Barry Cottle will reduce his salary by 100%, going without pay.
The impact of COVID-19 on the US gambling space
The US gambling industry has come to a standstill amid the coronavirus pandemic. All commercial casino across the country and the majority of tribal venues have temporarily closed their doors to help stop the spread of the virus.
Several states, including Nevada and Illinois, have extended the temporary closure of non-essential business, which includes gambling establishments, until April 30 at the earliest. On top of this, almost every major sporting league has made the decision to postpone events, which will have a significant impact on sports betting operators around the globe.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) warned that the shutdown of the US gambling sector could cost the US economy $43.5bn in the upcoming months. However, the US Senate has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic (CARES) Act which would create a $2tn stimulus package for people, businesses and states impacted by the pandemic.