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Ameristar Casino to lay off 150 workers in Mississippi

Officials for a riverfront casino in Mississippi have announced plans to permanently lay off 150 workers as the industry faces challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ameristar Casino, which sits along the Mississippi river in Vicksburg, will remain open, but will reduce its staff beginning in August, according to a letter notifying city officials of the layoffs.

The Mississippi Gaming Commission ordered all of the state’s casinos to close in mid-March to comply with efforts to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Casinos were allowed to reopen last month with social distancing guidelines in place that reduced capacity and the number of players allowed at gaming tables and slot machines, among other limitations, news outlets said.

General Manager Gerad Hardy said the interruptions have caused a decline in business volumes, and called the layoffs an “unfortunate result” of circumstances brought on by the pandemic, The Vicksburg Post reported, citing the letter.

“We could not have anticipated when our properties would be allowed to reopen and how restrictive the new operating conditions would be, and the negative impact this would have on business volumes,” Hardy said.

It was not immediately clear whether city officials had responded to the layoffs.

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