We have been reading in the news about how well Foxwoods Resort Casino has been doing and how they have really been showing an increase in the amount of money that they have making off of their slot machines. The Mohegan Sun has not been fairing as well, but they have been holding their own. But for two casinos that are really trying to come back from a stilted economy, it has not been easy for them to get back on their feet. Then they are faced with Hurricane Irene and now they are dealing with the fact that they are losing even more slot machine revenues due to the hurricane.
The win, or the amount the house keeps after they pay winning gamblers their take, for both casinos was down from where it had been a year before. They saw their slot machine revenues drop more than 10% for the month, which when you are talking about millions of dollars is a very substantial amount of money that they have not been able to recoup. The hurricane simply led them to suffer more than they would have already from the poor economy.
The Mohegan Sun was down 10.6% for their win, and they were down 15.4% for their handle or the total amount of money that the slot machines bring in. Both casinos had electricity during Irene, but people were just not in the mood to gamble. There were a lot of people who just could not get there due to the traffic issues with the storm, and others who just needed to hunker down and not spend any money.
Union Casino Workers Vote on New Contracts and Possible Strike
Casino workers with the Culinary Local 226 in Reno, Nevada have been very busy of late. Two separate votes are to be held this week dealing with new worker contracts at Circus Circus Casino and strike authorizations at Grand Sierra Resort. Night and day ratifications to say the least, the new contracts with Circus Circus Casino represent a new standard for casino worker wages and benefits in Northern Nevada.
Over 700 workers (represented by the Union) struck a five year contract deal with Circus Circus, which is operated by MGM Mirage. The deal was not a shocker, considering that MGM had settled worker contracts with ten of its Strip casinos last week alone. With contract extension deadlines coming up quick, MGM Mirage has acted just like the Union’s were hoping they would.
At other casinos, the story has not been such a smooth ride. The other vote taking place amongst members of Culinary Local 226 was regarding a standoff with the Grand Sierra Casino and Resort. Over 1,000 workers are now voting to give themselves the power to take a collective strike against Grand Sierra for better working benefits and pay. The privately owned Grand Sierra, which was formerly the Reno Hilton, could be in for a rough road ahead if the strike goes through. The last time the Culinary Union called a strike was back in 1949. They currently are responsible for negotiating five-year agreements with MGM Mirage, Harrah’s and the Riviera, and currently hold two contracts with Reno resorts.
Current casino worker contracts are under extensions set to expire soon. There are still 11,000 plus union members working under these contracts, which if not negotiated into future agreements will certainly lead to strike authorizations.