Hard Rock, Atlantic City casino workers reach agreement, strikes halted

July 4, 2022

The Hard Rock Casino and Atlantic City's main casino workers' union agreed on Saturday. This took away the last chance of a strike during the busy holiday weekend. It made it possible for the gambling halls and their workers to focus on making up for the money they lost during the coronavirus pandemic.

Deals to be approved

The Unite Here union's Local 54 said it had reached a tentative agreement with Hard Rock. This meant a strike planned for Sunday at 12:01 a.m. would not happen.

With Hard Rock's agreements with the Borgata, Caesars, Harrah's, and the Tropicana, only the Resorts and the Golden Nugget are left without a contract. But the union said it thinks they will agree in the next few days.

Bally's and the Ocean Casino Resort have also signed a deal that they will adhere to the conditions of the contracts that the union negotiates with the more substantial casinos.

According to Inquirer, the chairman of Hard Rock International Jim Allen, said, β€œWe are extremely pleased that we were once again able to reach a successful settlement with Unite Here Local 54 to increase wages and benefits for our deserving team members,”

He elaborated that he is looking forward to strengthening this great relationship at national and local levels as he grows his famous brand.

Not only that, but the president of Hard Rock Atlantic City Joe Lupo also said that the deal lets the casino focus on doing well during the high season for tourists.

Contract terms private to both parties for now

The union is made up of 6,000 people who clean hotel rooms and public areas, such as the casino floor and bathroom facilities and work in the food and beverage industry. The last contract ended on June 1.

The deals not only prevent a costly and disruptive strike on one of the casinos' busiest weekends of the year, but they also keep the workers from going on strike during the crucial third summer of the coronavirus pandemic, when the casinos are trying to get back to the revenue and profit levels they had before the virus spread.

In past contracts, the union focused on keeping health care and pension benefits, but this time it wanted to give workers "significant" pay raises to help them keep up with the rising costs of gas, food, rent, and other necessities of life.

The deals stopped what would have been the first casino strike in the city since 2016 when the union refused billionaire Carl Icahn's request that the Trump Taj Mahal casino keep running without health care and pension benefits that a bankruptcy court had taken away.

On July 1 that year, the union went on strike, and the casino closed on October 10. A few months after that, it was sold to Hard Rock International. They gutted and reopened it in June 2018 as the new Hard Rock Atlantic City.

Money issues

In the first five months of this year, the casinos and their online partners made $1.8 billion from online gambling and sports betting. That's more than 49% more than last year before the coronavirus hit.

But the casinos say these numbers aren't accurate because third-party partners keep about 70% of the money from online and sports betting. This leaves the casinos with very little money.

Jake Williams
Jake Williams is a sports gambling expert. He's been writing in the sports betting and DFS industry for over a decade. He specializes in MLB and NBA, along with College Basketball and College Football.