Casino’s Creative Cuts

Harrah’s New Orleans Casino has shrunk its full-time workforce from 84 percent of its total staff to 78 percent since summer 2008.
Meanwhile, the number of part-timers and on-call help has risen, despite the casino receiving a state tax break that requires it to employ at least 2,400 people.

While that fact is raising eyebrows in the Big Easy, it turns out the state never defined “employee.”

Though the casino has replaced many full-time staff with part-timers, the casino has consistently exceeded its state-mandated payroll minimum during the 2008-10 period in question. To receive the tax break, New Orleans Casino must report payroll to state police.

The stipulation allows it to include senior execs and management staff in the payroll figure. And among the larger New Orleans hospitality industry, the casino has maintained pre-Katrina employment levels during the current economic downturn.