Poker rooms were closed and 3,700 casino employees went on strike in Detroit

Michigan casino strike

Poker rooms in Detroit closed after 3,700 casino employees quit their jobs at three different Detroit hotels Michigan City.

All three casinos remain open during the strike, but poker rooms have temporarily closed Motor City Casino And MGM Grand Detroit.

An update to MotorCity Casino’s website indicated that the poker room would be temporarily closed, while a sign at the MGM Grand Detroit informed patrons that the area was closed. A telephone representative at Hollywood Casino in Greektown said the casino is open and poker room operations are not affected by the strike.

Detroit Casino Council
A Detroit Casino Council strike flyer

3,700 workers represented by the union are taking part in the strike Detroit Casino Council, a labor organization made up of five unions that bargain for workers at casinos across the city. The work stoppage affects vendors, food and beverage workers, engineers and more at all three plants.

Striking workers are demanding better health care, higher wages and a return to pre-pandemic staffing levels.

The two sides have been negotiating since September, and a three-year extension to the original five-year contract expired on Tuesday. When an agreement was not reached on time, the workers went on strike.

A sign at the MGM Grand Detroit posted by Reddit user /u/dormant123
A sign at the MGM Grand Detroit posted by Reddit user /u/dormant123

The extension was agreed to in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic when casinos were under pressure to stay open. Workers now say revenue is back to pre-pandemic levels, particularly with the inclusion of iGaming across Michigan.

“In 2022, the Detroit casino industry generated $2.27 billion in gaming revenue and is on track for another record year in 2023,” said a press release from the Detroit Gaming Council. “Detroit’s three casinos reported $813 million more in total gaming revenue in 2022 than in 2019, but total wages paid to workers represented by the DCC were $34 million compared to the same years lower.”

The strike is the first for Detroit casinos since Michigan expanded gambling in the late 1990s.

Meanwhile, 40,000 Culinary Union members in Las Vegas approved a strike in late September. Negotiations continue while the threat of a work stoppage remains at the MGM, Caesars and Wynn properties.

*Image from Reddit.

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Matt Hansen

Live Reporting Manager

PokerNews Live Reporting Executive based in Las Vegas, originally from Chicago, IL


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