Cypress Bayou

CHARENTON — The Cypress Bayou Casino and Hotel is the latest victim of the COVID-19 economic slump, laying off 229 employees last week.

According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act page, the casino filed a notice on June 26 that the 229 employees would be laid off as of July 1. 

The notice came on the heels of other casino layoffs last month, including 197 at Boomtown New Orleans, 347 at the Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City, 161 at the L’Auberge Casino and Hotel in Baton Rouge, and 441 at the L’Auberge Casino and Hotel in Lake Charles.

Cypress Bayou began its phased reopening on May 19. It is currently open from 10 a.m. until 2 a.m. Sunday through Saturday, although three of its venues — Café Delphine, Mr. Lester’s Steakhouse and Bizzute’s Gift Shop — remain closed. 

Casinos statewide have struggled with limits on occupancy as Louisiana struggles to reignite its economy in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. Casinos were not allowed to reopen for two months, until mid May, after Gov. John Bel Edwards issued his shutdown order in March.

Normally the WARN Act requires employees be given a 60 day notice of a coming layoff. Casino management argued that the COVID-19 emergency precluded that option.

Management said the layoffs are permanent.

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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