While layoffs have become a possibility for businesses across the country — including the casino industry — during the pandemic, Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, Michigan, has gone the other way and rewarded its employees during this uncertain time.
In a press release, Gun Lake Casino announced it handed out more than $611,000 in quarterly incentives to its employees in November. The casino stated the bonuses were “a token of gratitude for the essential role each employee has played in making Gun Lake Casino the best location to work for in West Michigan.
Since 2011, through its bonus program, Gun Lake has awarded more than $16.4 million to its employees.
“Throughout these times our priority focus has been the health and safety of our guests and team members with our Play It Safe Initiative,” said Sal Semola, Gun Lake’s president and chief operating officer. “We are exceptionally proud, especially during a pandemic, to continue providing a superior gaming experience despite the challenges in doing so. I extend a heartfelt thank you to our team members and the community for complying with our safety protocols and continuing to follow these measures diligently.
“The awarded bonuses are only one way we display our appreciation for the constant efforts of the hundreds of team members we employ. The achievements we have reached this year would not be possible without the foundation of our business — our team members.”
Gun Lake is one of the largest employers in Allegan County with almost 1,000 workers. Earlier this year, the casino was named one of “West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” by the National Association for Business Resources. It was also chosen as the best casino by the Holland Sentinel’s Best of the Best and the Best of the West Revue Reader Poll.
Gun Lake to Remain Open with New Guidelines
On Tuesday, Gun Lake announced it would remain open despite the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ new emergency order that included the closure of Detroit’s three commercial casinos for three weeks. The MDHHS order does not pertain to tribal casinos and those facilities can individually decide whether to remain open or close.
While remaining open, Gun Lake plans on introducing new measures to its Play It Safe Initiative it unveiled during the casino’s initial reopening in June. The following changes will take place on Nov. 20, at 9 a.m. until Dec. 9 at 9 a.m.:
- Hours of operation will remain 9 a.m. to 5 a.m.
- Michigan slots will remain operational, featuring Plexiglass barriers or spacing for social distancing.
- All dining/drinking amenities will close, including: Harvest Buffet, Sandhill Café, Grab-n-Go and all bars and alcohol service.
- Beverage stations for coffee, soda, and water will remain open with full service from Gun Lake Casino Team Members.
- The retail sportsbook counter and Stage 131 will be closed with sports betting kiosks available during normal operating hours.
- All table games outside the High Limit Room will be closed.
- High Limit Room will be open with limited room capacity.
- Closure of Appliques Gift Shop.
- East Rewards Center will remain open.
For an updated status on tribal casinos across the state, click here.