Reopening N.J. indoor dining brings hope to Borgata furloughed employees

Another sign of the economic pain being caused by COVID-19 are furloughs for thousands of employees at the Borgata in Atlantic City are now permanent.

But, there’s some hope as indoor dining is set to resume in New Jersey on Friday.

“It’s a disaster, really. I can’t believe it’s happening. But, everything is changing with the coronavirus, around here. What are you going to do?” remarked a worker.

The notification from MGM telling furloughed employees of its intention to not bring them back, yet, was federally required. Old casino workers like Al say it’s another way that people matter less.

“You really don’t get treated the way a person should get treated. You just get treated the way they want to treat you for the money. If you don’t show up, you’re gone,” Al said.

Nobody wants layoffs, says Atlantic City radio personality and goodwill ambassador Mike Lopez, especially at Borgata, Atlantic City’s top money maker for many years. But, he’s hearing things have changed since Friday.

“There’s been some talk about a reorganization, as far as the building itself, the infrastructure. Over 2,000 people go out of work? That’s a lot. We’re just ready to get back to work,” Lopez explained.

A Borgata spokesperson told FOX 29’s Hank Flynn that MGM didn’t know last Friday that New Jersey restaurants would reopen at 25 percent this Friday. Many Borgata workers reported laid off, the spokesperson explained in the email, will in fact be working at Borgata Friday and maybe more to get ready. 600 workers? 1,000 workers? The spokesperson couldn’t answer that, but there will be mouths to feed.

“We visited Borgata. We did eat there. Very, very upscale dining. An excellent value. I would recommend it to anyone that wants to be dining at that location,” stated one customer.

Borgata would not say how many formally furloughed workers will be back working this weekend, but it should be substantial.


For the latest local news, sports and weather, download the FOX 29 News app.