A Kansas casino that's been open less than half a year lays off 10 workers. The general manager of Kansas Crossing Casino in Pittsburg says these layoffs are only because of, and many other casinos are trying to deal with, a decreasing interest in table games. But former casino workers say the casino's overall revenues show the real picture.
Overall revenues from the past three months at Kansas Crossing have decreased from $2.4 million (May), to $2.1 million (June) and $2.3 million (July).
"They have been pedaling as fast as they can to get the business in the door," says Keith Kocher with Kansas Lottery. "Their marketing has done very well, in my opinion."
But the Kansas Lottery says Kansas Crossing revenues so far have failed to meet or exceed the projected $3.5 million monthly revenue.
"The experts who had analyzed the market at the times the bids (to build a casino) were being let, and vetting process, were right in that $37 million a year," says Kocher.
The general manager with Kansas Crossing says there's been a weak demand for table games. Table game revenues filed with the state show a steady decline ($310,877 in May, $289,599 in June, and $173,048 in July). The casino manager says table game hours are being cut from 24 hours a day to 10 am through 2 am during the week. On weekends, table games will remain open 24 hours.
The casino manager says 10 workers have been laid off because of this change.
"Not particularly surprising," says Kocher.
The Kansas Lottery says the Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City, KS also cut back night time hours of table games.
"In the metropolitan areas, such as Mulvane with Wichita and of course Kansas City, there's a lot more shift work and people coming in at all hours of the day and night," says Kocher.
Two casino workers who were laid off did not want to be interviewed on camera, saying their offered severance pay includes a confidentiality agreement. But they did tell us most of the eliminated positions were in the casino's main bank. They believe the casino's overall decreasing business is the problem, not just table game revenue.
Kansas Lottery says there's still time for the five-month-old casino to gain a customer niche and higher revenue.
"No, it should not have reached its plateau yet. It may be as much as a year, I would say, before it does," says Kocher.
The Kansas Crossing Casino general manager declined an on-camera interview with us. About 400 people were employed by Kansas Crossing, and casino officials say the layoffs affected less than three percent of that workforce.
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas