The cutbacks are being made in the table game division at the resort's two casinos, the Silver Star and the Golden Moon. Eighty-seven people are being laid off. Resort officials say the cuts are necessary.
"We have more slot players at this point and we do not have as many table players as we have table games," says resort president, Jay Dorris. "So accordingly, we're reducing the number of table games at both properties."
With the cuts the number of table games at the two casinos will drop from 127 to 85. With the removal of some of the tables, resort officials project that at least an additional 150 slot machines will be added to the Golden Moon. Meanwhile at the Silver Star, where far fewer machines will be added, officials say this will leave more walking space and therefore improve service.
With the reduction, total employment at the resort's more than a dozen properties will remain at more than 3500. With the cutbacks and lay offs affective immediately, officials say the 87 affected workers will receive between two and four weeks pay. All earned about $9.50 an hour and are being encouraged to apply for other positions at the resort where Resort President, Jay Dorris, says they will be given top priority.
Meanwhile resort officials say ultimately, the changes are for the best.
"Certainly, we're sorry for the impact that it has on our employees but moving forward, we need to do it. So, we can respond to our customers and what they want to see, which is more slots!"
Dorris says it's still unknown how long it will take to install the new slots. The Pearl River Resort is a development of the Band of Choctaw Indians.