Tag Archive : stop

Detroit Casinos to Stop Paying Workers as Coronavirus Rages On

Thousands of workers at Detroit’s three casinos will have their pay stopped as the properties have extended their shutdown amid the raging coronavirus pandemic.

MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown Casino, and MotorCity Casino will now remain closed until at least April 13.

The three gambling venues, all located in downtown Detroit, promised to pay their workers throughout the original shutdown period, which expires tomorrow, March 31.

However, the rapid spread of the dangerous and highly contagious virus across the US has forced the properties to extend the shutdown window through at least mid-April. The casinos informed their workers that they will cease pay beyond March 31, but said they would extend benefits through June 30.

MGM Grand Detroit is owned by Las Vegas casino powerhouse MGM Resorts International, Greektown is owned by major regional operator Penn National Gaming, and MotorCity is owned by the wealthy Ilitch family.

The three properties are Michigan’s only commercial casinos. There are also 23 tribal casinos that operate on the territory of the state. They all closed temporarily after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced earlier this month a ban on large gatherings, among other measures aiming to curb the spread of Covid-19 across the state and the rest of the country.

Detroit’s three casinos all opened retail sportsbooks just days before their shutdown. The launch of the facilities marked Michigan’s official entry into the US sports betting frenzy after Gov. Whitmer authorized the practice late last year.

A Difficult Decision

MGM Resorts International began companywide furloughs and workforce reductions from mid-March, citing the reduced demand due to the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis. All of the company’s casino resorts across the US are now closed in the face of the unfolding health emergency.

In a letter to employees informing them about the looming furloughs and layoffs, MGM President Bill Hornbukle said that “these decisions are never made lightly and that they “deeply regret the hardships” they will place on affected individuals and their families.

Penn National said this past Friday that it would place 26,000 workers on furlough throughout the coronavirus crisis and until its properties reopen. Aside from Greektown Casino in downtown Detroit, the company runs 40 other properties in 19 states, all of them closed.

Of its extended closure, MotorCity Casino said that the health and safety of its employees is their top priority and that they are hopeful “this temporary closure will have a positive impact on stemming the tide of Covid-19.”

Penn National said Friday that it has set up an emergency relief fund, which now has more than $1.2 million, to help affected workers and local relief organizations.

At MGM Grand Detroit, MGM has, too, set up an emergency relief fund and is understood to be in talks with other companies, including Amazon, to provide employees affected by the workforce cuts with temporary employment.

More than 140,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the US, making it the country with the most confirmed cases. The dangerous infection has killed nearly 2,500 people since the first US case was reported.

Source: Detroit casino workers’ pay stops Wednesday; benefits run through June 30

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Calls made for Colorado lawmakers to stop mobile sports betting

Civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton has pleaded with Colorado lawmakers to stop the state from rolling out mobile sports betting.

In a letter to Governor Jared Polis, Speaker of the House Kathleen Becker, and members of the Colorado Gaming Commission, Sharpton said legislation should be stopped due to the unknown impact of the coronavirus and that out-of-state businesses would benefit at the detriment of ethnic minorities.

Sports betting was legalised in Colorado last November through a referendum, making it legal for operators to offer internet – both mobile and desktop – and land-based sports wagering. State regulators are still on course to rollout sports betting on 1 May, as projected.

Sharpton used Rhode Island-based casino operator Twin Rivers – owned by Soohung Kim, who also owns three Colorado casinos – as an example of how businesses without the state’s interests at heart could cut jobs if sports betting was implemented.

He added: “Out-of-state hedge funds with long records of mass firings and shady dealings have come into the state to capitalise on mobile sports betting and, based on their track record, middle class workers and minorities will be the first to be negatively impacted.

“As this track record shows, if Mr. Kim, who already over-extended Twin River in his pursuit of potential mobile betting licenses, fails to make a profit, you can be sure it will be the workers of the Colorado casinos that suffer.

“Colorado needs to pay full attention to who is profiting off this new law to legalise online betting – otherwise, jobs will be lost.”

Colorado won’t stop employers from firing workers for using weed off the clock

Colorado legislators decided Wednesday not to advance a bill that aimed to protect employees from being fired for using marijuana in their personal time.

The 10 members of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee voted unanimously against the bill, HB 20-1089, after nearly three hours of testimony from people on each side.

Though the bill would have done nothing to prohibit employers from administering drug tests, many committee members cited the lack of an adequate test to determine whether an employee is intoxicated in the moment — much like a breathalyzer does for alcohol — as a reason to table it. Others thought the proposed change to the law was too broad.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

NY man charged after cops find over 360 pounds of alleged pot in traffic stop

A New York man was arrested Wednesday night during a traffic stop in Sturbridge, where more than 360 pounds of marijuana were found in the minivan he was driving, State Police said.

Trooper Michael Barrera was on patrol shortly after 8:30 p.m.in the area of Exit 3A on Interstate 84 when he saw a 2017 Toyota Sienna minivan merge onto the off-ramp at a clocked speed of 50 mph – 20 mph over the ramp’s speed limit, police said.

Barrera activated his cruiser’s lights and stopped the minivan on Route 20 East, police said.

Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Legal weed didn’t stop illegal deals

It wasn’t so long ago that marijuana was illegal in Massachusetts. But even though cannabis sales and use have the green light in the Bay State, illicit deals haven’t disappeared — they’ve just been refined.

In Massachusetts, marijuana retailers are prohibited from knowingly selling more than one ounce of pot or its dry-weight equivalence to a customer within a single day. Illicit dealers get around that by visiting a licensed cannabis store several times in one day, buying the maximum allowed on each visit, aka “looping.” They also visit several shops to make buys on the same day, known as “smurfing.”

Armed with fresh supplies, they either sell across state lines, or to local customers.

Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.