Casinos may be closed until further notice, but the casino workers union Unite Here demands casinos to pay their workers during the shutdown. Whatever daily burn casinos are feeling during this crisis is multiplied by over 300,000 casino workers on furlough.

Unite Here

The labor union Unite Here represents more than 300,000 casino workers in the U.S. and Canada, and Unite Here President Donald Taylor held a press conference to ask casinos to pay their workers during this crisis.

We think, without a doubt, the gaming industry … should actually pay for people during the shutdown,” Taylor said. He illustrated how it is unfair for taxpayers to foot the bill for casino owners during tough times while ignoring their workers.

While casino employees nationwide have received a smattering of furlough pay from casinos, this isn’t enough to address the problem. Eight of nine Atlantic City casinos paid workers for two weeks after the March 16 shutdown, but as the crisis continues, casino workers worry about making ends meet.

Impact on Workers

In the gambling mecca of Las Vegas, over 60,000 Unite Here union members were left high and dry in the desert after the shutdown. So far, only Wynn Resorts has agreed to Unite Here’s proposal of paying union members a full month’s pay. According to Unite Here, the company will pay all staff at their Las Vegas and Boston casinos through May 15.

Many casino workers are struggling with obtaining unemployment benefits during the crisis, as the sudden wave of desperate hands can’t be filled fast enough. The load on servers crashes websites, and unemployment offices are running at reduced staff levels.

The American Gaming Association is meeting with lawmakers to help smaller casinos qualify for relief funds. And the bureaucracy grinds on.

Meanwhile, Donald Taylor clarified his position. He believes that casinos with enough cash flow should pay their employees through the duration of the coronavirus shutdown, and those that don’t have the cash flow should use any government casino bailout money to help their workers.

The casinos have more than enough money to pay the employees,” Taylor said. “This is about greed.”


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A Massachusetts native, blogger Angeline Everett grew up in the Allston neighborhood of Boston and earned a degree in casino management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. After graduating, Angeline moved to Atlantic City where she joined the young team at the Borgata Casino as a compliance representative, while blogging on the side. After a few years in the back office, Angeline moved to the floor to work first at a casual poker dealer and later casual poker floor supervisor. Fascinated with games of chance since she was a child, Angeline currently divides her time between blogging and work on her first book.