Detroit Casino Workers Call for Boycott of Affiliated Mobile Betting Platforms Amid Strike
Detroit casino workers have been on strike for the past month and are now urging patrons to avoid using the mobile betting platforms affiliated with the casinos where they have been picketing. The Detroit Casino Council, a coalition of unions representing casino workers, has called for a public boycott of four sports betting and online casino platforms linked to the three casinos where workers have been on strike.
The targeted platforms include 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 council plans to launch a digital ad campaign targeting users of the three platforms in an effort to extend the picket lines into cyberspace and inform online bettors about the ongoing strike.
Nia Winston, President of UNITE HERE Local 24, stated that the online platforms represent critical sources of revenue for the companies that operate Detroit’s three casinos and workers are calling on the public to boycott these apps until the strike is resolved.
The unions are not targeting other iGaming platforms, such as Caesars Sportsbook, Caesars Palace Online Casino, WynnBET, DraftKings, Sports Illustrated Sportsbook, and others.
Approximately 3,700 Detroit casino workers have been on strike since their contracts expired on October 17. The unions, negotiating under the umbrella of the Detroit Casino Council, are seeking better health care, job security, and retirement benefits, among other concessions. While negotiations are ongoing, differences remain between the two sides.
Earlier this month, casino companies offered to reduce health care premiums and increase wages. However, the unions want health care premiums reduced to zero and wages raised by a higher amount. The unions argue that they deserve to be compensated for the concessions they made during the pandemic, including reduced overall employment and increased workloads.
This call for a boycott comes at a time of rising power for labor across the economy, including in the auto industry and Hollywood entertainment, where strikes were recently resolved. In the gaming sector, Las Vegas hospitality workers were also prepared to go on strike this week, but the action was avoided after a deal was reached with major casino operators.