Both Las Vegas Sands (LVS -0.24%) and Wynn Resorts (WYNN -2.81%) announced they plan to pay all of their employees, a combined total of more than 24,000 workers, for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.
Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson said, "I hope to do that right up until the time that we can reopen our businesses. It's not only the right thing to do -- it's good business."
Wynn said it chose to take the action because it is part of its shared responsibility for the health and safety of its employees, their families, and the broader community.
A shared burden
Las Vegas Sands will continue paying its 9,300 employees through the end of April, when Nevada's mandated business closure order ends. Wynn said it will pay its 15,000 employees at both its Wynn Resorts and Encore properties through May 15. In addition to its Las Vegas resorts, Wynn also owns the Encore Boston Harbor in Massachusetts.
Both casino operators, however, generate most of their revenue in China, where the coronavirus started. Their resorts in Macau, the only place in China where it is legal to gamble, were subjected to a 15-day shutdown in February, and despite reopening, visitors have not returned.
Gross gaming revenue (GGR) plunged 88% in February and was down 80% in March. Analysts at JPMorgan believe April may be even worse with near-zero GGR after Chinese officials imposed new tourist restrictions following new cases of COVID-19 being discovered.