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Union involved as Florida casino workers consider strike

Thu, Jul 11, 2:15pm by Staff Writer

Members of a casino union in Florida have voted to authorise a strike at the Isle Casino Pompano, which is owned by Eldorado Resorts. is reporting that Unite Here Local 355, an affiliate of the nationwide Unite Here labor union that represents workers in the hotel, casino and food service industries, have been in contact negotiations with Eldorado for more than a year.

With new concerns raised following the Reno-based casino operator’s colossal $17.3 billion deal to acquire Caesars Entertainment, employees say they’ve had enough and are threatening to walk off the job.

“I have worked at the casino for nearly seven years. I make $9.20 per hour. They made over $100 million in 2018, and our department lost so many workers in the layoff,” casino housekeeper Myrtho Bein-Aime said in a statement.

“We work harder for less pay, and they are making so much money. It’s just not fair,” she concluded.

The Isle Casino features nearly 1,500 slot machines and electronic table games.

The racetrack venue doesn’t have a hotel, but does have meeting space and four restaurants.

Unite Here didn’t say when the casino union might strike at the Pompano Beach venue.

Eldorado Resorts chief executive officer Thomas Reeg wants to reduce Caesars’ operating expenses by around $500 million.

Sources close to the financial reorganizing told the New York Post prior to the acquisition announcement that they didn’t believe he would be able to get to that number.

The $17.3 billion proposal reveals Reeg believes he can.

Reducing corporate costs could come at the expense of fewer jobs.

“We will not stand by idly if the proposed Caesars-Eldorado transaction will lead to significant job losses, worse wages and benefits for our members, and lower state gaming tax receipts in the many communities where members we represent work and live,” Unite Here international president David Taylor said.

Eldorado buys Caesars

In late June, the Japan Times reported that Eldorado Resorts acquired Caesars Entertainment Corp to become the largest owner of casinos in the US.

In the deal, Caesars shareholders will receive about $12.75 a share, including $8.40 in cash.

That’s a 28 per cent premium to the casino chain’s close on the preceding Friday.

While the combined company will retain the Caesars name, there’s no mistaking who’s buying whom in this transaction: Eldorado, with a market value of less than $4 billion, is clinching the giant from Las Vegas and its flagship Caesars Palace.

Eldorado’s quick ascent to the top of the industry benefited from a campaign by activist billionaire Carl Icahn, Caesars’ biggest shareholder, who pushed for a sale in recent months.

The Reno company is buying an ailing Caesars, still coping with the fallout of a 2008 leveraged buyout that left it with a mountain of debt.

But it wasn’t the only suitor: Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta proposed merging his restaurant and casino empire with Caesars last year.

Eldorado dates back to a single casino opened in Reno in 1973 by Donald Carano, a lawyer who died in 2017.

The town, which calls itself “The Biggest Little City in the World” has always been the second fiddle of Nevada’s gambling industry.

The business has grown exponentially in recent years under the direction of Tom Reeg, who is now chief executive officer and will lead the combined Eldorado-Caesars along with Chairman Gary Carano and the rest of Eldorado’s management.

Among its purchases, Eldorado acquired MTR Gaming Group and Isle of Capri Casinos, and last year added Tropicana Entertainment, which was controlled by Icahn.

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