top of page

Latest News From Las Vegas, The Capital of The Gambling Business

Updated: Jun 11



The situation is getting worse: ‘Las Vegas “culinary strike” disrupts local businesses


Recently, one of the largest strikes by hotel and restaurant workers took place in Las Vegas. Approximately 700 members of the so-called Culinary Local 226 went on strike to demand an inflation-adjusted pay rise.


According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, all the protesters are employees of the Virgin Hotels casino resort. On Friday, 10 May, they left their jobs and went on strike. Their main demand is to conclude a new labour contract that would increase their wages. 


As Virgin Hotels representatives later reported, the total number of picketers was much higher than 700. In total, the company employs approximately 1,700 people, who from time to time ‘replaced’ each other. This allowed Virgin Hotels to continue operating, but the overall customer service situation was significantly hampered.


The strike also had a negative impact on other establishments in the vicinity due to traffic and pedestrian disruption. Some visitors to Virgin Hotels reported that they had to change their plans because of the picketers. Others claimed that they did not notice any tangible changes in the quality of service.

It is noteworthy that Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar and local Republican MP Stephen Gorsford joined the action. They took part in the strike on Friday evening, but reportedly did not stay long.


The strike ended only on Sunday, 12 May, at five in the morning. The former president of the Culinary Union and current treasurer of the organisation, Ted Pappageorge, said that the union has no plans to resume picketing. However, he does not rule it out in the near future if the next session of negotiations on 14 May does not bring results.


For those looking to enjoy casino games without the hassle of picketers or strikes, online options provide a convenient alternative. For instance, players can take advantage of the Stay Casino no deposit free chip, allowing them to play and potentially win without any initial deposit. This not only offers convenience but also an opportunity to explore various games risk-free.


Pappageorge emphasised before the strike began:


‘At this time, we have decided to “send a message” - this is a two-day strike to see if the company will do the right thing. But the reality is that a prolonged strike will cause long-term damage to the company, and we would like to try to conclude a contract.’


For their part, representatives of Virgin Hotels claim that the union is not negotiating in good faith, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. The company even filed a complaint with the National Labour Relations Board.


The document claims that the union conducted ‘illegal take-it-or-leave-it negotiations, insisting on unconditional fulfilment of all demands’. Virgin Hotels also reported that union representatives refused to attend preliminary talks scheduled for 2 May, after which they went on strike. Culinary Local 226 denies these allegations, and Ted Pappageorge claims that negotiations have been going on for about five months. 


‘The fun side of Vegas is dead’ - visitors complain that the old Las Vegas is lost


A recent article about the decline in profits of Las Vegas gambling operators has sparked a heated discussion. Commentators claim that nothing is left of the former gambling capital.


The author of the article for Casino.org, financial expert Todd Schreiber shared information about a significant decrease in the profits of operators on the Strip, referring to the recent quarterly reports. According to him, only large gambling establishments feel relatively confident now, while medium and small casinos are gradually declining.


As it turned out later, visitors to Las Vegas are also extremely dissatisfied with the city's state. Thus, one of the commentators Denise C noted:

‘Vegas used to be fun. We started going there in the late 1980s. The casinos paid out winnings, the food was cheap, and it was really fun. And then Steve Wynn (billionaire owner of Wynn Resorts - ed.) started the corporate greed of Las Vegas. I think Vegas is over.’


As it turned out, such opinions are far from isolated. A similar comment was shared by reader Jim Cassidy:


‘We started visiting Vegas in the 1970s. It was civilised, there were standards of dress and behaviour for guests, and casino staff treated them like royalty. Today, customer service is terrible, guest behaviour is unacceptable, and crowds at the pools are a joke. And car racing has been a slap in the face to more than half of Las Vegas‘ businesses and almost all of its residents.’


Some even argue that Las Vegas has chosen the wrong path of development, turning from a city of gambling into something completely different and incomprehensible to those who come here to play. One of the triggers for commentators was the recent closure of the Tropicana casino and the start of construction of a stadium in its place. Casino.org reader Don A considers such decisions to be a terrible mistake:


‘People go to Vegas to gamble. I am very upset about the destruction of the Tropicana. I don't go to Vegas to watch a ball game. The old glitz of Vegas is gone. All this automation is pathetic. I used to love my wheel of fortune and the guy who serviced it. And now it's automated. Changing Las Vegas for the better has been the BIGGEST failure.’


Given that competition in the gambling world is growing rapidly, Las Vegas may indeed face new challenges and lose a significant portion of visitors in the future. Macau is already nipping at its heels, and new large casino resorts will soon be launched in popular tourist regions, including Thailand, Sri Lanka, and others. The competition will only grow in the future.


Las Vegas business versus Formula 1. The petition on Change.org has collected more than 2 thousand signatures


Representatives of Las Vegas businesses have created a petition on Change.org to cancel the Formula 1 Grand Prix scheduled for 21-23 November 2024. According to them, the event will have a negative impact on small businesses and drastically reduce profits.


The petition to cancel the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Las Vegas was created by Lisa Mayo-DeRizo, a public relations consultant. She represents at least six business owners who claim to have suffered serious losses during last year's preparations for the race.


The petition states that holding the Grand Prix in Las Vegas will have a number of critical consequences:


  • negative impact on local businesses due to possible business interruptions;

  • traffic congestion and complications due to the construction of a bridge on Flamingo Road;

  • lack of detailed accountability and any public consultation, which could lead to unpredictable consequences.


The petition also states:


‘Contrary to the supposed economic benefits, the grand prix has a negative impact on small businesses, workers, and transportation companies that face large losses in revenue, reduced traffic, and general disruption during the event.’


According to Casino.org, the preparations for the first Vegas Grand Prix in 2023 resulted in the loss of approximately $30 million in revenue for local businesses. One of the main reasons for such losses was the construction of the Flamingo Road bridge, which lasted approximately six months and effectively isolated some of the local businesses.


Magdie Amer, the owner of a local restaurant, said that it was because of the race that she was forced to close her establishment:


"We weren't even working at 10% of what we used to. We were just losing money every day.’


According to the author of the petition, Lisa Mayo-DeRizo, business representatives plan to file a lawsuit against Formula 1, but first want to try to use the available administrative resources. A Clarke County media representative reportedly declined to comment on the petition.


At the same time, Clark County Commission Chairman Tick Segerblom supported the idea of compensating businesses affected by the construction. And representatives of Formula 1 promised that this year's preparations for the grand prix would be less extensive and destructive than last year's.


At the time of publication of the news, the petition had collected more than two thousand signatures since its publication (3 May). This is quite a small number, but the petition has already been covered by many media outlets: Las Vegas Review-Journal, KLAS, KSNV, Fox 5 Las Vegas, Nevada Globe, etc.


Despite the fact that petitions on Change.org do not have legal weight, they can still gain political power. This is what the authors are currently hoping for.

Last year, after the Formula 1 Grand Prix, business representatives filed a claim with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) for damages of about $23 million.


By ML staff. Image courtesy of Marry Marvel.

Comentarios


bottom of page