Atlantic City Casino Workers Continue Demanding Wage Increases

Atlantic City casino workers have continued their efforts in demanding increased pay. On Wednesday, workers picketed at the Tropicana and the union for employees is demanding new, post-COVID-19 contracts.

AC Casinos Are Making More Money Than Before the Pandemic

Some statistics stated that the nine casinos in Atlantic City and their online partners are actually making more money than in the pre-pandemic period. However, casinos denied these claims. They stated that they only get to keep around 30% of sports betting and online gambling money.

Bob McDevitt, the union president, commented on the latest developments and stated that all casino workers are together and ready to fight. He also added that they are demanding a few specifics in the new contract, one of which is the pay raise.

The union has been demanding a pay increase for over a month, but it never publicly stated how much should the wages of casino workers increase. McDevitt pointed out the fact that the casino industry in the region is extremely strong and that according to the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, casinos made over $4.2 billion in online gambling, retail gambling, and sports betting.

Caesars Entertainment, Harrah’s, MGM Resorts International, and Tropicana are some of the casino establishments that the union has been negotiating with.

Survey Suggests That Many Casino Workers Are Struggling to Pay Their Rents

One of the main reasons why the union is demanding an increase in casino wages is due to the fact many casino workers are struggling to make ends meet. A survey, which was released by the union itself and included 1,934 of its members, found out that 61% of the workers are actually struggling to pay their rent/mortgage on time in the past year.

Moreover, 32% stated that they did not have enough money for food, 27% lacked funds for transportation and 37% did not have enough funds for utilities.

As a way to raise awareness of the issue at hand, the union posted worker testimonials on its official Facebook page. Teresa Lopez, a Caesars employee, stated that casino workers clean far more check-outs per shift, but the number of housekeepers is smaller. “Enough is enough,” she stated and concluded that casino workers should also make money.

Nikki Schwendemann, who’s been working in the Atlantic City casino industry for the last 37 years, also stated that casino workers need to get a raise. She stated that workers have given a lot to the casinos and as the prices keep going up, “people are desperate.” That is why she says that it is time for the casinos to give back to workers.

McDevitt stated that future pickets are likely to happen and added that even though the negotiations haven’t been successful so far, they have been cordial.

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