William Hill CEO Joe Asher uses salary to create a foundation to assist out-of-work staff Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · March 25, 2020 at 3:00 pm William Hill US. CEO Joe Asher has created a foundation to assist his employees that have been furloughed by the shutdown of the nationwide casino industry by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. More than 600 employees of the sportsbook operator – roughly two-thirds of the Las Vegas company’s full-time staff – are out of work. Asher said Wednesday he donating his salary to the foundation and encouraged other executives with the sportsbook operator to do the same. “We’ll get through this. That’s what I told our team at a (virtual) town hall last week,” Asher said. “We have to do something to help our employees.” Asher wouldn’t disclose his salary but said he “didn’t feel right” getting paid while many of the company’s employees were unemployed. Even if the roughly 255 William Hill employees still working “can donate $20” to the foundation, it would help the cause. Asher’s salary donation follows similar moves by other gaming industry chief executives. Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox is foregoing 100% of his salary for the year in exchange for company stock. The $1.9 million salary will be used to help pay the salaries of the company’s unemployed workforce. Everi Holdings CEO Mike Rumbolz is foregoing his salary to help the gaming equipment company’s liquidity. The William Hill Foundation is intended to provide an additional layer of support to furloughed workers. William Hill is still paying for health care coverage for the out of work staff. Furloughed employees are getting instructions this week on how to apply for assistance from the foundation. “Recently, I’ve been fond of saying ‘the end of the world happens only one, but this isn’t it,’” Asher said. “What we’re going to need is a broader national conversation about the economic impact this has brought and the social impact on the shutdown of businesses. We could have a lot of social issues because of the shutdown.” William Hill US is a subsidiary of the United Kingdom-based sports betting giant. The company took a$502 million drawdown last week on its credit line to increase its liquidity and it canceled its dividend payments. The company operates legal sports betting operations in nine states, including more than 114 locations in Nevada, the bulk of which are betting kiosks. The workers at William Hill sportsbooks inside the casinos are employed by the company. When the casino industry shut down last week in an effort to halt the spread of the virus, sportsbooks were sidelined. In addition, the major sports leagues and the NCAA halted all games, including the March Madness basketball tournament. Currently, William Hill is offering sports betting online in states where the activity is legal on unusual sports, such as sumo wrestling and table tennis. “I think for the national psyche, we need sports to come back to help us all get back to normal,” Asher said. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.