Article published on 3 April 2013

38 Windsor Casino Employees Laid Off

More Canadian Casino Jobs Culled
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Another 38 Canadian land casino jobs have been culled, as the country's gaming industry struggles to combat stiff competition from south of the border.

Caesars Windsor announced that it was laying off 38 unionized employees, bringing the number of staff down to less than 3,000. In the late 1990's, Caesars Windsor employed over 5,000 people.

The current round of layoffs was aimed at staff in the food and beverage sector, as well and culinary and resort operations departments. Thirty full-time and 8 part-time workers were given notice.

Caesars Windsor posted four part-time jobs and said that, depending on the employees' seniority, they may be able to bump within the casino.

Increased Competition from US Casinos

The president and Chief Executive Officer of Caesars Windsor, Kevin Laforet said that the main reason for the layoffs was the increased competition facing the casino from across the border.

"Staff reductions are always a difficult decision for any business to make," he said. "Increased competition in Ohio, border issues, the smoking ban and exchange rate continue to be ongoing challenges our property faces."

Adding his comments was Jhoan Baluyot, the manager of media relations and communications who said: "It's about operations and balancing our cost with our revenues."

The mayor of Windsor, Eddie Francis raised his concerns about Caesars partnering with Rock Financial in order to purchase Greektown Casino, and said that he feared that this move would "cannibalize" Caesars Windsor.

"We know a large portion of our clientele comes from the across the river," he said. "We want to ensure our Caesars property in Windsor continues to be viable."

He said it was equally important that the Ontario Lottery and Gambling Corp remain aware of what is happening across the river and "stay on top of the benefit of the facility and from a community perspective."

Canadian Single Sports Betting Bill

In the meantime, with Windsor casino employees laid off, CAW, which represents hourly employees at the casino, encouraged the government to adopt the single game sports betting bill, Bill C 290.

"If this would have been passed right now, we'd be looking at hiring, not laying off," said Michael D'Agnolo of CAW. "With these senators sitting on it for so long, I feel that they're putting these workers in this predicament."

D'Agnolo said that C 290 would "certainly grow the gaming industry."

"The federal government and senate has the ability to provide a competitive advantage to the tourism industry," he said. "The fact the senate hasn't taken steps to enact that legislation is a surprise."

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