The gambling market has come far. In past times gambling casino employees had little to look forward to other than pay. It was a job, but offered little of the benefits that other jobs enjoyed. When people are looking for jobs in any other market they look at a lot of things—pay, benefits, vacation and overtime. It is standard in other markets that workers are aware of the benefits package that should come along with their salary workup. Unfortunately in the past employees of gambling casinos were not privy to the same benefits. They in fact could hope for minimum wage and then have to work their ways up to a decent salary. That is all starting to change. The biggest contributor to the differences in salaries for gaming workers has been the growth in gambling. Now that gambling is considered to be a viable career choice and bringing in billions of dollars, it is gaining a lot of attention. Rules and regulations are changing quickly because of the sheer growth of the market.
In a lot of areas gambling casino workers are seeking to form unions. It is the single most important thing they can do to fight for their rights and equality in the market. For example, workers in Illinois formed UNITE HERE Local 1. They recently reached an agreement that changes how casino workers are compensated. It brings their revenue streams to the structure that other workers have received for years.
UNITE HERE Local 1 pushed Ameristar Casino company to institute a retro-active pay scale. They also have to include retirement plans for their employees. This is of particular note because in prior years it was unheard of for casino employees to have any kind of retirement benefit. This is a groundbreaking advance in the market that most likely will pass on to other locations and generations of gaming employees. As of now this deal is going to last until 2012, on October 31st. Throughout that time however, most gaming companies expect that the Unions involved will renegotiate for new contracts beyond that time. UNITE HERE Local 1 currently represents 200 employees at Ameristar in East Chicago but their negotiating will no doubt influence a much larger circle of people by 2012.