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Borgata lays off 400 workers

Nov 8, 2008 2:07 AM

Staff & Wire Reports |

The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Atlantic City's newest and most successful casino, has laid off 400 workers due to the worsening economy.

The cuts, which were carried out on Wednesday, eliminated 5 percent of the Borgata's work force.

Rob Stillwell, a spokesman for Boyd Gaming, the co-owner of the Borgata, said the layoffs were the first in the casino's five-year history.

"We did everything we possibly could to avoid this," he said. "But the economy is just too bad right now."

The layoffs affected salaried and non-salaried employees in all departments.

About 7,000 employees remain, Stillwell added.

Several other Atlantic City gambling halls have also laid off workers this year. The number of citywide casino workers fell here by 951 in October alone, though not all those were due to layoffs.

The four Atlantic City casinos operated by Harrah's Entertainment Inc. -- Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Bally's Atlantic City, and the Showboat Casino Hotel -- laid off "several hundred" employees in recent months, spokeswoman Alyce Parker said.

She declined to reveal the exact number, but also cited the declining economy and stepped-up competition in the decision to reduce the work force.

According to the state Casino Control Commission, there were 40,124 workers in the Atlantic City casinos as of Nov. 1. _ a reduction of 664 since the beginning of the year, though not all were due to layoffs.

Trump Entertainment Resorts, which has three casinos here, and the Tropicana Casino and Resort, which was decimated by layoffs last year, causing its former owner to lose its casino license, did not lay anyone off in 2008, executives with those companies said Thursday.

Brian Cahill, a spokesman for Resorts Atlantic City, said that casino has also had layoffs this year, but would not say how many.

"Like every property in Atlantic City, we've experienced a decrease in business volume and have made some reductions in staff accordingly," he said.

He would not say whether the Hilton has laid anyone off.

For the first nine months of the year, Atlantic City casinos won $3.6 billion, down 6.3 percent from the same period in 2007. September saw the worst-ever monthly decline in revenues, which were down 15.1 percent.

The city last month put off a smoking ban on the casino floor for at least a year to avoid further hurting business at the casinos.