Hard Rock Atlantic City Gifts Its Workers An Unexpected Bonus

Like many employees in the US, Atlantic City casino workers were badly hit by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which saw employees struggling to keep their jobs rather than looking towards a raise or employee bonuses.

But with last week came a pleasant surprise for Hard Rock Casino employees as the casino announced that all 2,184 workers would receive a boost along with their paycheck. The bonus goes: $250 for 1,822 hourly workers; $500 for 197 supervisors and regular workers, and $1,000 for 165 managers.

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“We believe that this continued support of our employees, and our belief that this will continue to enhance our respect and appreciation that we’ve provided to them and that they have given back to us, will continue to grow customer service in the property, and more importantly, continue to separate us from the rest of the industry,” Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen said in a statement.

This big offer comes after the Boardwalk property gifted $2 million in bonuses over a year ago, to nearly 2,900 workers.

Checking the recent December results released by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, Hard Rock has seen a small boost in revenue compared to December 2019.

All other eight casinos didn’t do so well as their revenues declined month-over-month, with all but one experiencing heavy drops of more than 20%. Hard Rock announced that its fourth-quarter reports show a 12.5% increase compared to the same quarter in 2019.

“We’re committed to this project on a long-term basis,” Allen said of Atlantic City. “We know Atlantic City still has a great history behind it, and still has a better history in front of it.”

At the national level, Hard Rock is releasing a whopping $90 million in bonuses at all casinos. It is also offering gift cards and extension of benefits to some employees.

This bonus effort seems to be the genius work of Jim Allen of Atlantic City.

Allen and Atlantic City

Allen made his way out of South Jersey’s Mainland Regional High School in 1978, the same year the Resorts was established. He later found a job at Bally’s casino in Atlantic City.

He has handled several executive positions in different casinos at Louisiana, Colorado, and Massachusetts before ending up at Atlantic City.

Allen has very high expectations for Atlantic City – maybe too high – which made him to harshly criticize local officials who he perceived as being lackadaisical about their duties.

In 2019, he had reportedly said, “Candidly, we’re disappointed with Atlantic City. There’s no other way to say it. … It’s a shame that they did not rise to the occasion of a company coming in, putting $500 million into that city.”

“Pacific Avenue has identical problems that it’s had the last 20 years,” Allen added, “and, frankly, it’s worse now than it was 10 years ago.”

It wasn’t too long after that, Allen once again spoke out against Atlantic City.

“I’m afraid that if the image of Atlantic City doesn’t change, then continued reinvestment into Atlantic City is going to be a significant challenge,” Allen said. “If the city and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the State of New Jersey do not come together….  if they think the last recession in Atlantic City was a challenge, the next one is going to be tenfold.”

While his choice of words and his view of the future might seem harsh, Allen believes he is looking out for the best for Atlantic City and hopes to see improvements in all areas. Hopefully, Atlantic City would take his pressing concerns into mind and push for reforms that will change its image and landscape.

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