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The strike began on Tuesday, Oct. 17th, affecting 3,700 casino workers including dealers, cleaning staff, food and beverage workers, valets, engineers, and more. It is the first casino strike in Detroit history. D. Taylor, President of UNITE HERE International Union said "Penn Entertainment is sinking $1.5 billion just for the rights to use the ESPN brand for its online sports betting platform, but they won't they invest in paying a fair wage at their Michigan casino, where workers are on strike. The Detroit casino unions launched a digital ad campaign asking sports fans to hold off on placing bets until workers secure wages and benefits that are enough to live on and the strike is settled."
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In September 2020, workers agreed to a three-year contract extension with minimal wage increases to help the industry get back on its feet. Since then, Detroit casino workers have received only 3% raises while inflation in Detroit has risen 20%. In 2022 alone the Detroit casino industry generated $2.27 billion in gaming revenue from in-person and online gaming.
The DCC partner unions are part of International Unions that have experience representing gaming workers and winning great contracts throughout the United States including Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The five unions represent most of the workers at the three casinos in Detroit: Hollywood Casino at Greektown, MGM Grand Detroit, and MotorCity Casino.
The DCC is urging sports fans not to use ESPN BET or other apps associated with these operators until the strike is over as it would be a "loser for Michigan if PENN won't invest in our communities" according to Taylor. Other sports betting apps such as Caesars Sportsbook, Caesars Palace Online Casino WynnBET DraftKings Sports Illustrated Sportsbook are not part of this boycott.
The unionized casino workers are hoping that by boycotting these platforms they will be able to secure better wages and benefits for themselves so they can live comfortably without having to worry about their financial security or job security.
Filed Under: Business
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