Detroit Casino Workers Call for Patrons to Boycott Mobile Betting Platforms Amid Strike
Detroit, MI – Casino workers in Detroit are calling for patrons to avoid using the mobile betting platforms affiliated with the three casinos where they have been on strike for the past month. The Detroit Casino Council, a coalition of unions representing casino workers, has urged the public to boycott four sports betting and online casino platforms linked to the casinos.
The platforms in question are FanDuel, which is affiliated with MotorCity Casino; the soon-to-launch ESPN Bet and Hollywood iCasino, both linked to Hollywood Casino at Greektown; and BetMGM, the online outpost of MGM Grand Detroit. The unions are launching a digital ad campaign targeting users of these platforms and encouraging them to gamble elsewhere until the strike is resolved.
Nia Winston, President of UNITE HERE Local 24, stated, “Workers have been outside the physical locations 24/7 since going out on strike three weeks ago to win a fair contract. Now, they’re calling on the public not to cross their virtual picket line either, and to boycott these apps until the strike is settled.”
Approximately 3,700 Detroit casino workers have been on strike since October 17th, represented by unions including the United Auto Workers, Teamsters Local 1038, UNITE HERE Local 24, Operating Engineers Local 324, and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters. The unions are seeking better health care, job security, and retirement benefits, among other concessions.
The two sides continue to negotiate, but differences remain. Casino companies offered to reduce health care premiums to $40 and increase wages by $1.95/hour, whereas the unions want health care premiums reduced to zero and wages raised by $3.25/hour.
The Detroit unions’ call to boycott the mobile platforms comes amid a time of rising power for labor across the economy. In the gaming sector, Las Vegas hospitality workers were prepared to go on strike this week, but the action was avoided after a deal was reached with the major casino operators.
As negotiations continue, the impact of the workers’ strike and the public boycott of the mobile betting platforms on the Detroit casino industry remains to be seen.