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pacomartin
pacomartin
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September 14th, 2011 at 8:43:38 PM permalink
After 9/11 for the downtown Las Vegas, the casino revenue was remarkably flat for three straight years (at just over a billion dollars per year). During that period the casinos improved their profitability by several means, not the least of which was working with fewer employees.

I have noticed that the casinos tend to reduce the number of employees no matter if at all possible. If the casinos cut employees when revenue is flat, you can imagine what they do when it is plummeting.

The casino department in particular is pretty ruthless and has added remarkably few jobs in the 20 years since the Mirage opened. Clark County employees about the same number of people in the casino department as it did decades ago when revenue was a fraction of what it is today. A lot of that is due to mechanization of many jobs, elimination of coins, higher quality slot machines, less service, etc.


Revenue for Casinos in Downtown Las Vegas in $ millions. Restricted to casinos that make over $1 million per year. The one that dropped off the list is Silver Saddle Saloon.

FY Total Revenue $m Income % Gaming Revenue $m Fiscal Year Number casinos
2002 $1,085.73 0.05% $661.40 Jul 2001-Jun 2002 19
2003 $1,085.72 2.20% $655.20 Jul 2002-Jun 2003 19
2004 $1,085.73 3.88% $653.40 Jul 2003-Jun 2004 18


Income % is short for net income before federal income taxes and extraordinary items.

Employees per department.
G&A means General and Administrative and refers to back room and executive operations. "Other" is retail and entertainment.
FY casino rooms food beverage G&A other total
2002 5,076 2,334 3,187 921 2,536 648 14,702
2003 4,551 2,134 3,079 924 2,557 615 13,860
2004 4,437 2,193 3,192 895 2,221 534 13,472



Since casinos are often touted for economic revival, it is a bit shocking to see how few jobs are added as revenue soars.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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September 14th, 2011 at 11:02:38 PM permalink
Staffing levels are often cut so deeply that service levels are affected. This "fire half the employees and work the other half to death" attitude is what leads to restaurants without sufficient waitresses, traffic jams in hallways because of insufficient security guards, room check in delays due to untrained reservations clerks and overworked housekeepers.

There are no change girls anymore, fewer slot techs, obviously there are fewer maintenance workers. Automation on the casino floor has been great for the bottom line but its also a great opportunity for managers to distinguish themselves by trimming personnel even if the paring is going all the way to the core.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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September 14th, 2011 at 11:44:18 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

it is a bit shocking to see how few jobs are added as revenue soars.



Thats what we in MI used to say about General Motors,
then we got used to it.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
pacomartin
pacomartin
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October 3rd, 2011 at 8:28:21 PM permalink
If you are still convinced that casinos create jobs, look at the level of employment today in downtown gaming. Admittedly revenue is down to $905.71 million (which is down 16.6%, but the total number of employees is down 32.9%).

Employees per department.
FY casino rooms food beverage G&A other total
2002 5,076 2,334 3,187 921 2,536 648 14,702
2003 4,551 2,134 3,079 924 2,557 615 13,860
2004 4,437 2,193 3,192 895 2,221 534 13,472
2010 2,935 1,588 2,271 739 1,882 455 9,871

G&A means General and Administrative and refers to back room and executive operations. "Other" is retail and entertainment.

The sad thing is that Downtown is still way too top heavy on jobs compared to other regions. The Boulder Strip takes in 60% more gaming revenue with even fewer employees in the casino department. In addition Boulder Strip has twice as many casinos.

As one old time casino manager said, enjoyable gaming is inherently "high touch". It should involve a lot of personal interaction, much like old fashioned bartending.

Quote: FleaStiff

There are no change girls anymore, fewer slot techs, obviously there are fewer maintenance workers. Automation on the casino floor has been great for the bottom line but its also a great opportunity for managers to distinguish themselves by trimming personnel even if the paring is going all the way to the core.

reno
reno
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October 4th, 2011 at 12:35:17 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

The casino department in particular is pretty ruthless and has added remarkably few jobs in the 20 years since the Mirage opened. Clark County employees about the same number of people in the casino department as it did decades ago when revenue was a fraction of what it is today. A lot of that is due to mechanization of many jobs, elimination of coins, higher quality slot machines, less service, etc.



Wow, that's very surprising. Can you give us the number of Clark County casino floor employees in 1990 compared to 2010?

Just think of all the casinos that have opened since 1990: Allante Station, Aria, Bellagio, Boulder Station, Encore, Excalibur, Fiesta, Green Valley Ranch, Hard Rock, Luxor, M Resort, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Monte Carlo, New York, Orleans, Palazzo, Palms, Paris, Red Rock, Silverton, South Point, Suncoast, Sunset Station, Texas Station, Treasure Island, Venetian, Wynn and a few others. Some of these are enormous behemoths with over 100,000 sq ft of gaming and yet there were still just as many casino jobs in the days of Sands, Dunes, and Desert Inn?

Certainly a modern slot machine must occasionally need human maintenance, right? It really makes you wonder how many jobs will eventually be completely replaced by robots...
rxwine
rxwine
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October 4th, 2011 at 3:12:13 AM permalink
Well, more people working at the airport and taxi drivers are employed when casinos do a lot of business.


Quote: reno

Certainly a modern slot machine must occasionally need human maintenance, right? It really makes you wonder how many jobs will eventually be completely replaced by robots...



I think anti-competitive strategies bother me more than lack of employees. Big business are suppose to improve business by being better business or by making better widgets.

Manipulation of laws to favor larger hotels, or laws trying to keep out something like a Dotties, that really bugs me.
Quasimodo? Does that name ring a bell?
pacomartin
pacomartin
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October 4th, 2011 at 6:34:21 AM permalink
Quote: reno

Wow, that's very surprising. Can you give us the number of Clark County casino floor employees in 1990 compared to 2010?



In the last 20 years casino department employees county wide have actually decreased. Casino department went from taking in $100K per employee to $230K.
Even though non-gaming revenue increased by more than a factor of 4, there has been only a 60% increase in employees in non-gaming department (which also includes General & Administration department).

Fiscal Year Gaming $m Non-Gaming $m Casino Department Jobs Other Jobs
1990 $3,644 $2,285 36,811 69,249
2010 $8,408 $9,836 36,422 110,333


The Fiscal Year 1990 ends on the last day of June 1990. So it would only include 7 months and 1 week of Mirage which opened Nov 22 1989. It is not clear if they do an average for the year, or they just pick employment at the end of the fiscal year.

There are undoubtedly more jobs inside the casinos in the non-gaming area that are created as the casinos rent out much more floor space to independent companies who have their own employees. It is my understanding that practice was relatively non-existent in 1990.

But still the numbers are very sobering considering that the population of the country nearly tripled in those 20 years and is now almost 2 million.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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October 4th, 2011 at 10:35:46 AM permalink
Casinos are most known for hiring dealers, cocktail waitresses and maids. Such hotel employees as maids and bartenders might be separately accounted for, I don't know. Entertainment such as bands can be thought of as "jobs'' but are probably under some sort of expense category to a different entity.

As automation of floor transactions has increased you see box positions being just another rotation for the dice crew and a floorman being rotated a few days a week or something.

Electronic dealers exist as do fully robotic dealers inside a glass cage. I think the public will want live dealers but tastes may change as the younger generation gets used to robots.

Certainly the casinos see only the executives as being vital.
Scotty71
Scotty71
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October 4th, 2011 at 12:36:06 PM permalink
They have been replaced with sous chefs
when man determined to destroy himself he picked the was of shall and finding only why smashed it into because." E.E. Cummings

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