Just recently, the Grand Villa Casino Edmonton in Alberta has announced that it plans to cut back on its floor opening hours to four days a week due to a company statement, a “weak economy” and transportation infrastructure which is lacking within the city.
This gambling establishment is 60,000-square-foot and had previously been operating on a daily basis since its opening a few years ago in 2016. The previous trading hours were from ten in the morning until three in the morning the following day. A statement released by the company states that this reduction is merely temporary, however, what would speed things up would be a surge in business.
Tanya Gabara, the casino’s director of public relations said in a statement that they needed to make this change while waiting for the “downtown redevelopment to reach its full potential”.
It is said by Gabara, that over the course of the past three years, that there has been a notable lack of parking space, that there have been delays in the hospitality and residential projects within the downtown area, as well as, delays in the completion of the Edmonton Light Rail Transit, not to mention the continuous road closures which make getting to the casino difficult for customers. She listed these factors, as well as, the weak economy when asked about the reasons behind the cutbacks and the need to change the casino’s operations.
The 15th of September is when the casino commenced with its new operating hours of Thursday through Sunday during the hours of 12 until one the next morning. Additionally, the casino is open outside of the regularly scheduled hours if there happens to be any major concerts or events near the entertainment and hockey venue, Rogers Place.
The opening of the Gateways Casino & Entertainment, as mentioned, was in 2016 (15 September). This was planned to be during the first part of the ICE area. This entertainment and other purpose district is located in downtown Edmonton.
The operating hours were not the only thing that was forced to be cut back. Due to the reduction of operating hours, staff members have been laid off. The casino and the company behind the establishment have both stated their joint uncertainty regarding the total number of employee vacancies. The Edmonton Journal has stated that the operating times changing will have an impact on an estimated fifty staff members.
This estimated figure was provided by the union who represents the casino employees. The Edmonton Journal makes an estimate that a reduction of anywhere between 33 to 80 full-time workers will occur, this number will comprise of staff from the casino itself or the surrounding restaurants and venues.
Aside from the fully employed staff, there is a further estimated fifty to sixty part-timers that might lose their positions. Further than this even, people that work in management and other non-union jobs could be affected.
A spokesperson from the union, Michael Hughes, blames that overall management of the establishment for this situation. While the company claims that it has worked alongside the union in an effort to find alternative solutions.
Gabara explains that although the company did examine all options and did their utmost to find another way to keep afloat, there was no other way. The idea behind their move is longevity and staying power rather than burning bright and burning out. She claims that they are working alongside the union to find an acceptable agreement between the two parties that affect employees the least.
There have been employees that have opted for a severance package, found another position, or moved to a part-time schedule.
According to the union, the employees of the casino have approved concessions earlier this year, however, at this time staff members are complaining about a lack of warning regarding the layoffs.
When asked for a statement regarding the recent hours and employee cutbacks, Council Member Scott McKean announced that these actions are not good for the district as it is more preferable that people enjoy the amenities within the city. His prediction is that in one to five years the casino will be fine.