President and CEO of Penn National Gaming, Jay Snowden, expressed his sorrow on the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the workflow at Penn National Gaming Inc in his communication with the workforce. The gaming company based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, has imposed unpaid leave on all its employees starting April 1, 2020.
Social distancing, which is the need of the hour when the world is looking out for ways to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, has greatly affected various industries globally. That being said, it has also taken a toll on the entertainment sector, including casinos and gaming stations.
Thus, addressing the workforce, he stated that though the company would offer the wages and benefits up to March 31, 2020, only after which the employees would be subject to a long unpaid leave. In the meantime, Jay, along with the other executive members, would forgo a cut of their pay. In contrast, the Board of Directors, along with Corporate Leadership teams, would forgo cash compensation.
With the impending threat of the coronavirus, this turn of events comes as a no surprise. Nevertheless, Jay Snowden further claimed that the employees enrolled in the company’s healthcare plans will certainly enjoy the medical benefits until the end of June this year.
In his communication, he further said that the primary focus of the company is to secure the liquidity and future of the company alongside fighting the coronavirus devastation. He also emphasized certain key aspects that Penn National has already undertaken. This includes the following.
- COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, an initiative under the Penn National Gaming Foundation
Penn National has already established this to offer assistance to not only the workforce nut also the local relief organizations. In fact, the company has so far raised $1.2 million.
- The sale of their Tropicana Las Vegas Real Estate Assets
This move seems to be made in a bid to relieve the liquidity pressure ad to reduce the company’s ongoing expenses involved in operations. “We reached an agreement with our landlord, Gaming & Leisure Properties, involving the sale of the Tropicana Las Vegas real estate assets (we’ll continue to operate the facility) and a new ground lease for our planned Category 4 satellite casino in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, in exchange for $337.5 million in rent credits,” confirmed Jay Snowden.
- Penn National donated unused masks and food to those in need
Apart from thorough implementation of safety protocol while clearing the company’s operations, Penn National donated more than 45 tons of perishable food to the local shelters, food banks.
“Our properties have donated thousands of unused masks and surgical gloves to first responders and health care providers. In times of crisis, we come together,” stated Jon Snowden.
Mr. Snowden also listed some of the actions the company would undertake to overcome this glum economic phase in his letter. These include amending the 401(k) plan, eliminating non-essential travel, reducing third-party vendor, contracting expenses, and postponing the construction of the Pennsylvania Category 4 casinos.