A total of 77 workers lost their jobs as a result of eliminating the third shift on Sundays at the Golden Moon Casino, according to Warren Strain, communications director for Pearl River Resort.

Despite the layoffs, Strain says the cost-cutting measures are beginning to work in favor of the Resort, citing a head count of more than 11,400 customers over the past weekend.

"While we take no pleasure in laying off workers, the main objective of the resort is to fund Tribal government," he said. "Our expenses are down and the revenue is holding and we feel good about that."

Strain also responded to widespread rumors that Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming would return to manage the Resort or that a possible sale of the Resort to the Seminole Tribe in Florida is pending.

"Those rumors are just that, rumors," he said. "They are unfounded and false."

The Golden Moon is now closing at 8 p.m. on Sundays instead of 3 a.m., Strain said.

In January, the Resort, an enterprise of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, laid off 570 workers and is only operating the Golden Moon on the weekend.

The layoffs are part of a broad plan to reduce expenses while continuing to fund Tribal government and debt obligations at nearly $100 million annually in a challenged economy that has riddled the gaming industry nationwide, Tribal officials said in January.

Strain said this round of layoffs - mostly in the first few weeks of March - transcends all levels of employment as well, not just front-line hourly employees.

In January, Paul Harvey, president and chief executive of Pearl River Resort, said The Resort's No. 1 mission is to fund Tribal government in a robust manner.

The Tribe's other gaming property, the Silver Star Hotel and Casino, is not impacted by this round of layoffs, Strain said.