Hollywood Casino in Bangor on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. Credit: Josh Kaufmann / BDN

Hollywood Casino, Hotel and Raceway in Bangor is laying off a number of employees, citing the economic impact of the casino’s initial three-month-long closure and continued restrictions on its operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Employees were notified earlier in the summer that layoffs were possible, though the company that owns the casino, Penn National Gaming, did not at that time specify how many people would be laid off or when.

Penn National in June filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with the Maine Department of Labor, notifying the state that it expected to lay off 121 people, according to a department spokesperson. The department held a rapid response session for laid-off workers on Aug. 31.

The number of employees the casino is laying off, however, is “significantly lower” than the 121 first notified, casino spokesperson Dan Cashman said Tuesday, though he declined to give a specific number.

Hollywood Casino in Bangor had 340 employees as of March 1, just prior to the pandemic and the casino’s forced shutdown.

The fact that Hollywood Casino was allowed to reopen in July meant that it could recall a number of furloughed employees, said Eric Schippers, senior vice president of public affairs and government relations for Penn National. But the continued restrictions meant the casino could not bring every furloughed employee back to work, he said.

“The continued social distancing requirements and uncertain business volumes means our properties will not be able to resume normal operations for the foreseeable future,” Schippers said. “As a result, we informed our team members that their furloughs may be converted to a permanent layoff in the coming weeks or months.”

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.