Wynn's Rant Redistributes Irony

Posted: Jul 20, 2011 11:01 PM

Steve Wynn has been critical of Obama’s business policies for awhile now, but his latest rant has gotten everyone talking. “I'm telling you that the business community...is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States,” Wynn said. “And until he's gone, everybody's going to be sitting on their thumbs.”

“...this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime......a President that seems...that keeps using that word redistribution.”

He’s right about everything he’s saying, of course, but it’s ironic that a man as smart as Steve Wynn wouldn’t have figured out what anyone else with a brain could see. But alas, we’re stuck with Obama, at least for now. And Harry Reid, whom Steve Wynn also supported. Thanks a lot, Steve.

To be fair, overall, Steve Wynn has been great for Las Vegas. By his own estimates, he’s provided jobs for 150,000 people are their families, and until recently, had virtually no layoffs at his properties. He’s built beautiful properties, his enthusiasm for Las Vegas is contagious, and we all appreciate him for that.

However, his recent rant caught me by surprise, especially when he complained about Obama “using that word redistribution”. Hmmm. Interesting, especially since in 2006, Steve Wynn instituted a tip policy that had never been done in Las Vegas before.

He decided to “redistribute” the dealers’ tokes (tips) by including other casino employees in the pool who traditionally weren’t given a cut. Rather than reach into his own pocket and pay floor supervisors more money per shift, he essentially stole it from the dealers’ percentage. The dealers sued, Wynn prevailed. And I thought voting in the Transport Workers Union would protect them...not.

A caller to my show this week who claims to be a a Wynn dealer says the “redistribution” has cost the dealers $400-500 a week. Maybe you wouldn’t notice that amount, but I assure you I would.

Notice the disdain one local columnist had for the dealers when discussing this: “Employees who don’t want to play by Wynn’s rules don’t have to. They can move on. Nobody’s forcing them to work there. But here’s a tip: If you’re making $70,000 throwing down cards at one of the finest casinos on the planet, quit complaining. You could be working for tips shining shoes or waiting tables.”

Nice. The writer probably never held a real job in his life. Of coursedealers have the choice to work elsewhere, and of coursea casino owner should be able to call his own shots. No one’s arguing that. But principle is principle.

Dealers at Wynn and Encore still make a good living, but who’s to say that they make enough not to notice a cut?  Who’s to say Steve Wynn or any other billionaire, makes enoughmoney? I am very consistent on this issue. I don’t want Steve Wynn to pay more in gaming taxes because he “makes enough money”, nor do I want hard working dealers to have their money confiscated for “redistribution”. Careful when you use that “R” word, Mr. Wynn.

For more on what it’s like behind the scenes in Vegas casinos, get my new book, “Cocktail Waitress Wisdom, Life Lessons, Learned While Carrying a Tray In Las Vegas” available at Amazon.com 

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