PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With Rhode Island’s two casinos closed, the gaming company that provides slot machines and other gambling services has furloughed 320 employees in the state.
Bob Vincent, the chairman of International Game Technology (IGT), said the furloughed employees would be out of work for eight weeks, starting on Monday. Health and other benefits will continue, he said.
Vincent said some of the furloughed employees are directly connected to operations at Twin River’s two casinos, which are owned by the state and have been shuttered amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other employees who are furloughed include workers in marketing, finance and legal at the company’s North American headquarters in Providence, according to Vincent.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on many of IGT’s customers and markets we serve,” he said in a statement. “Our priority is to protect the health of people, while we take responsible actions to serve our customers and stakeholders. We are taking specific actions to bring our operations in line with customer and player demand.”
IGT is also the vendor for the Rhode Island Lottery, which is still in operation. Vincent said IGT’s lottery work would not be affected by the furloughs.
IGT (formerly GTECH) has more than 1,000 employees in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island General Assembly is currently considering whether to grant the company a new 20-year contract to continue providing gaming services to the state.
The General Assembly has not met in weeks, also because of the pandemic. It’s unclear when lawmakers will reconvene, virtually or otherwise.