Harrah’s lays off 69 dealers | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Harrah’s lays off 69 dealers

Susan Wood

Sixty-nine full-time dealers were laid off from Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Monday, the company confirmed Tuesday.

The terminations were reflective of an adjustment the casino made in table game operations upon evaluating the staffing level at Harveys Casino Resort, as well as other reasons related to a sluggish business climate.

“It’s a response to a lot of things – the economy, business being off year to year and trying to create a situation where full-time dealers have full-time hours,” spokesman John Packer said. “It should have happened before.”

The staffing reduction has no bearing on ongoing consolidation efforts between the two casinos that were once fierce competitors before Harrah’s Entertainment closed on the deal to buy Harveys two months ago, Packer said.

Many full-time dealers had weeks in which they worked between 20 to 30 hours and received full-time benefits, he said. The realignment is intended to make the schedule more equitable and easier to manage.

The terminated Harrah’s dealers may apply for part-time positions, numbering between 30 to 50, Packer said. The staff reduction leaves 175 full-time dealers at Harrah’s and 170 at Harveys.

Harrah’s has already scaled-down much of its seasonal workforce. This will be wrapped by Oct. 15.

Overall, Harrah’s business, like other casino companies, has experienced a slow down in the last few weeks since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, but it appears hotel bookings are picking up in October.

“We’re hopeful October will pick up,” Packer said.

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