Caesars and MGM Properties May Lose $1m a Day if Atlantic City Casino Employees Strike

  • A strike will begin on July 1 against MGM and Caesars if new union contracts are not signed 
  • Hard Rock Atlantic City is at risk for a July 3 strike
  • The Atlantic City Council is urging casino operators to sign new agreements
  • Union workers want a wage increase to help with COVID-19 pandemic recovery
mass protest
Atlantic City casino employees are ready to go on strike at MGM and Caesars properties. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Severe losses expected if a strike occurs

Atlantic City employees of MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment will go on strike starting this weekend if new union contracts are not signed beforehand. If the strikes occur, the Local 54 estimates that casino revenue losses will reach around $1 million daily.

new deals have yet to be agreed upon

Unite Here Local 54 members voted for strike authorization with MGM and Caesars’ walkouts beginning July 1. Contracts with the casino companies expired last month, and new deals have yet to be agreed upon. Employees want to see new benefits included in union agreements, such as higher wages.

Atlantic City employees fighting back

A recently published report by the Local 54 details the losses MGM Resorts could see at the Borgata Casino and the hit Caesars Entertainment stands to take at Harrah’s, Tropicana, and Caesars Atlantic City. Using figures from the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement, the union expects the three Caesars casinos to lose $1.3 million a day collectively.

The report shows Caesars Casino would see close to $1.2m in daily EBITDA losses. The strike would hit MGM Resorts harder with up to $1.8m in losses each day at the Borgata.

the four affected casinos would be unable to meet visitor demand

The strikes would occur before the Fourth of July holiday, a significant revenue earner for casinos in Atlantic City. The summer season is always busy, but an influx of visitors head to the Boardwalk during Independence Day, which is also on a Monday this year, making for a potential three-day weekend. Without employees, the four affected casinos would be unable to meet visitor demands.

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is also at risk of a strike as the Local 54 plans to act against the property on July 3 if operators do not sign a new agreement within the next few days. Ocean Casino Resort and Bally’s have agreed to honor the contract terms set by the larger casino companies in Atlantic City, so they are not part of the impending strike.

The local government demands action

The Atlantic City Council wants to see the issue put to bed. Council members recently urged casino operators to avoid the strike by signing new contract agreements. During the June 22 Council meeting, members signed a resolution supporting the employees in the hopes of stopping any strike.

The union wants employees to get a significant wage increase with the new contract agreements. The goal is to help casino workers continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and deal with inflation issues.

Reports indicate that wage demands are $18 per hour.

If the union goes ahead with the strike, it will be the first time such action has occured since 2016. At that time, employees walked out of the former Trump Taj Mahal due to health and benefit concerns. The casino eventually shut down three months later and has since reopened as the Hard Rock.