Vernon Downs Will Now Lay Off 300 people
We learned earlier this week that more than 4,100 casino workers across New York will, or have, received layoff notices. We now know the exact number from Vernon Downs.
It was originally reported that about 900 of those workers come from Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs. Vernon Downs owner Jeff Gural says he must lay off 300 people from the casino under New York State law.
WKTV reports the employees were furloughed in March, and Gural doesn’t anticipate the state allowing Vernon Downs to open by September:
Gural says opening Vernon Downs would be less of an undertaking because the casino is much smaller than Turning Stone. So, if a facility that large can open, he believes Vernon Downs can safely operate as well.
“But the fact is, they're way bigger than Vernon Downs. It's much harder for them to monitor them. Vernon, if we reopened with 50% of the machines, you're only running 250 machines,” said Gural."
Gural did announce he plans to bring back as many employees as possible when Vernon Downs is able to reopen. However, he also says he doesn’t think he can financially endure a shutdown for much longer.
Currently, the race track is the only open area of Vernon Downs. Fans are not allowed to watch the races, unless on TV. The casino and hotel are both closed.
Notices had been sent out under the federal WARN Act, which requires employers to provide advance notice of layoffs lasting six months or more. With New York’s private casinos remaining shut down, the casinos issued the notices Monday.