Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has promised to keep paying the US employees of his casino empire until at least the end of October, even as the coronavirus cripples the gambling industry.
In a letter to the roughly 8,000 US staffers of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which owns the posh Venetian hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Adelson said he will extend full pay and benefits through at least October 31, even for those who are not currently working.
“To my knowledge, we are the only company in our industry and likely one of few in the broader hospitality industry who has not furloughed or laid off employees because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Adelson, Sands’ CEO and Chair, said in the July 29 letter to employees reviewed by The Post.
“Since closing our doors in Las Vegas on March 17, and having now been reopened since early June, a top priority of our management team has been the health, safety, and livelihood of our team members who are the foundation of our great company,” said Adleson, who is worth an estimated $30 billion, according to Forbes.
The letter comes as the coronavirus continues to crush business travel and tourism to Las Vegas. The CES tech conference, which represents the city’s largest annual gathering of people from around the world, is going digital in 2021.
The Venetian is presently 25-percent occupancy during the week, and 50 percent on the weekend, Las Vegas Sands President and COO Rob Goldstein told The Post. Workers are being rotated so as many as possible can get some hours in although everyone is getting paid the same amount they were pre-pandemic.
Meanwhile, Sands is eyeing a multi-billion dollar investment in NYC tied to a new casino it wants to build close to Citi Field, Goldstein said. Sands has spoken to those parties now in the final bidding to buy the Mets, he said.
Though Sands is non-union in Las Vegas, it would build and operate a casino and entertainment facility in New York with union labor, he said.
“It would be very additive to the Mets”, Goldstein said, adding that he cannot really do anything more until the Government approves gaming on the Willets Point, Queens site.
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