Greektown Casino-Hotel to permanently lay off 43 employees

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Greektown Casino-Hotel is permanently laying off 43 employees as it deals with the impact the pandemic has had on the company.

"These layoffs at Greektown Casino-Hotel are the unfortunate result of COVID-19 related business circumstances that were sudden, dramatic and beyond our control," John Drake, vice president and general manager of Greektown Casino-Hotel, wrote in a letter to the state late last week. "The impact on our business was not reasonably foreseeable until now."

Drake added, "These significant drags on our business will likely continue for the foreseeable future. Finally, we could not have anticipated when our properties would be allowed to reopen and how restrictive the new operating conditions would be, and the negative impact this would have on business volumes."

The layoffs will be effective beginning Sept. 28, according to the notice from Drake. It also cites bumping rights for affected union employees.

Greektown Casino-Hotel reopened in early August after being closed for more than four months on state orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. Detroit's three casinos, which include MotorCity Casino Hotel and MGM Grand Detroit, are operating at a state-mandated 15% occupancy. 

The notice of layoffs at Greektown came a week after MGM Grand Detroit said it would lay off 1,100 employees as part of a national workforce reduction amid the continuing pandemic.

The three casinos have struggled with financial losses after they were ordered closed March 16. Combined revenue for the three casinos fell 65 percent year-over-year through July, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN