Hundreds of employees were offered buyouts. Jobs could be eliminated in January

Leading slot machine manufacturer IGT will lay off possibly hundreds of employees by early next year due to the economy.  

Citing an internal company e-mail to employees, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Chairman and CEO TJ Matthews as saying the number of layoffs will be based on how many workers accept a voluntary separation program that was introduced last week. IGT spokesman Ed Rogich said roughly 500 employees, age 55 and over, were offered buyouts, according to the R-J story.  

"As we continue efforts to reduce expenses and restructure the company to maximize efficiencies in light of a strained economic environment, it has become evident that we must conduct an involuntary reduction in our work force in addition to our other efforts," Matthews is quoted in the e-mail.

A decision regarding the layoffs is expected to be made by November with the jobs being eliminated in January, Matthews told IGT workers.

IGT employs some 5,400 workers worldwide, including 3,000 employees at its corporate headquarters in Reno.