Casino Street Reporter: Strike Clamor Growing, Macau is Rocking + Jackpot Switcher Busted

Dan Michalski

Updated by Dan Michalski

News Writer

Last Updated 14th Mar 2024, 07:22 AM

Casino Street Reporter: Strike Clamor Growing, Macau is Rocking + Jackpot Switcher Busted

(Seen in the parking lot at the Rio in Las Vegas. Unclear if this truck belongs to a hospitality worker, a soccer player and/or a bowler. Click to zoom out.)

The week’s not even over, and already there’s more news coming from casinos than we any reasonable person should be expected to keep up with. But we try so you don’t have to. 

Here’s’s semi-regular roundup of key stories emanating from the well-monied casino streets in Las Vegas and beyond:

Strikes and Spares

It seems like all across the US casino workers are growing more restless. Could an employee walkout be coming to a gaming establishment near you?

In Detroit, they’re already at the strike phase. Workers walked off the job on Tuesday and are hitting the picket lines. And now they’re joining forces with striking auto workers and health insurance employees. (The Detroit News

The contract clamor seems to be spreading, with workers at Harrah’s Philadelphia picketing in their off hours. The demands are similar across the board – higher pay, better benefits and more job security. (Delco Times)

In Las Vegas, the Culinary and Bartenders Unions say they’re making no progress negotiating with “the Big Three” casino-resort companies (Caesars, MGM and Wynn), and a strike really could be coming.

Meanwhile, the casinos are digging in, too, holding hiring fairs information sessions around Las Vegas for potential new, non-union workers. (EmployNV on X)

All this is happening while two new casinos not involved in labor disputes are massively hiring. Both Fontainebleau on the Strip and Durango (a Stations casino) in Las Vegas’s southwest valley are preparing for December openings. Hiring of more than 1,200 is almost done at Durango. Fontainebleau had 5,600 job openings a month ago, and they’re still hiring

One big hire Fontainebleau announced this week: Post Malone. The pop-music superstar locked down the coveted New Year’s gig, and will perform Dec. 30-31 at the new casino’s BleauLive Theater. (The Street)

Macau Casinos Are Back on Top

Admittedly, we’re not experts on the labor situation in China … we’d look it up on our iPhone if we didn’t keep getting distracted by too much Tik-Tok. But apparently the casinos in Macau are roaring back to life after an extended COVID slowdown. 

Macau casinos reported $2 billion in gaming revenue in August, surpassing Nevada and Las Vegas, which generated a plateauing $1.2 billion for the month. (Wall Street Journal)

This means big profits and stocks on the uptick for Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and MGM. (

To think, all that success in Asia and they don’t even have a Sphere!

This video of a golfer teeing off at the Wynn casino-resort under the watchful eyes of the Sphere went delightfully viral this week. 

Casino Crime Blotter

We love a good crime story, and when they happen in casinos some are better than others. In the best ones nobody gets physically hurt and the bad guy loses all his chips.

One that has our attention currently involves the legal woes of former New Hampshire State Sen. Andy Sanborn, who also owns the Concord Casino. He called in sick Thursday to delay his hearing in front of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, who are considering whether or not to revoke his casino license

Sanborn is accused of fraudulently obtaining $844,000 in COVID small-business relief and using it to fund a lavish lifestyle for him and his wife, current State Rep. Laurie Sanborn. (NHPR

Deadbeat Dupe?

We also learned this week that in Indiana there’s a crime called “illegal jackpot switching.” 

A 42-year-old man was arrested on Monday when he won a $1,322 slots jackpot at Bally’s Casino & Hotel in Evansville. The winner offered another casino patron $100 to cash in the ticket, which woulda stuck his mark with a few hundred bucks of tax liability. (Ha!) 

Only problem was the man who agreed to cash out the winning ticket owed back child support, so the casino by law couldn’t pay him. Soon the scheme would begin to unravel. 

Unrelatedly but occurring at the same Bally’s casino, gaming authorities on Thursday arrested an 81-year-old man accused of attempting to use stolen non-value chips at the roulette table. (Evansville Courier & Press)

Good Money After Bad

In Maryland, the town council of Berlin on Thursday approved using funds from the Ocean View Casino to help pay for police pensions, a new community center and more ambulances. (Bayside Gazette)

Meet The Author

21 Years
Dan Michalski
Dan Michalski
News Writer News Writer

Dan Michalski is a longtime journalist based in Las Vegas with nearly 20 years as a writer and editor covering poker, casino gaming and sports betting. As founder of Pokerati and an award-winning blogger, podcaster and news reporter, Dan has worked tirelessly to elevate the standards of journalism in gaming media. He also has served as a gaming industry consultant and holds advanced certificates in gaming regulation from UNLV. When not thinking about media and casinos, he can be found on the tennis courts, where he has captained two teams to USTA national championships, and one to second place.

Read Full Bio

Test Your Luck
Not Your Spam Filter

Sign up to receive emails and promotions from Email Signup Coins