Atlantic City strikes could cost NJ casinos $2.6m per day

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A potential strike in Atlantic City might have severe repercussions for the nine casinos in the city, according to the union that represents over 10,000 casino employees.

Delegates of the Unite Here labor union’s Local 54 chapter have given authorization for a strike to take place at any time after July 1 at 12:01am Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). On June 1, the agreement that had been in place for employees at the nine casinos ceased to be valid.

A strike ahead of the major July 4 celebration would be an economic blow for the facilities, so it is likely that the union has the advantage at the negotiation table. At least according to the beliefs held by the union.

New research that was produced by Unite Here addressing the financial impacts of a picket during the Independence Day long weekend adds to the information that has already been accumulated. The strike may result in losses totaling up to $2.6 million per day for Harrah’s, Borgata, Caesars, and Tropicana combined. It is anticipated that MGM Resorts’ Borgata will lose the majority of its income, amounting to $1.6 million per day.

According to the figures presented in the paper, gross gaming revenue (GGR) had a negative fall of 25 percent during the strike when compared with income achieved during the festive season surrounding July 4 of the previous year. According to the earnings statistics for 2021, the losses further include revenue drops that would be suffered across the entirety of facilities.

READ: New Jersey generates $430.6m through gambling revenue in May

The concern raised by the union that a casino picket would result in daily losses of $2.6 million for the businesses who are spearheading the gambling market side is questionable.

The director of Stockton University’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism (LIGHT), Jane Bokunewicz, suggests that a flat 25 percent fall in GGR and accompanying profits could not precisely define the financial implications of a picket.

The most recent significant strike to hit Atlantic City was in 2004, and it was at this time that the casinos were able to keep their doors open by bringing in temporary personnel to supervise and support resort operations. According to Bokunewicz, the same reaction would take place the following week in the event if employees left.

“The casino floors at all properties would remain functioning as normal,” Bokunewicz told the Associated Press. 

“[Casinos] would use non-union employees and management to keep the hotel and food and beverage sites operating at an acceptable level to attract customers. Revenue losses or gains would depend on how successful they are at doing this.”

Aside from those directly involved in casino activities, like table game dealers and slot technicians, the majority of facility staff are represented by Unite Here. Chefs, beverage waiters, housekeepers, waitstaff, couriers, and bartenders are some of the members of Local 54.

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