Winds may shift next week when a union negotiating committee meets with Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort officials.
One tack may steer the Rhode Island retail casino‘s workers toward a strike they authorized their union to call on June 28.
A different maneuver may result in the committee and casino officials reaching a tentative agreement and averting picket signs.
The latter scenario just played out in New Jersey, where 6,000 retail casino workers who’d been ready to strike against five casinos just sailed through the long Fourth of July weekend with tentative agreements.
Unite Here Local 26 spokeswoman Lynette Ng told Bonus.com today:
Negotiations are continuing, and the 200+ Bally’s workers who are members of UNITE HERE Local 26 have the same contract.
She relayed a quote from Carlos Aramayo, President, Unite Here Local 26:
The union and Bally’s Twin River had a productive day of bargaining last Wednesday, the day after the strike authorization vote. Both parties agreed to extend the contract for two weeks to continue bargaining. The new contract expiration is July 14th at midnight.
The Situation for the Bally’s Retail Casino
The Rhode Island casino’s situation may be less dire than what could’ve happened in Atlantic City.
First, July’s long holiday weekend that blows tourists to vacation spots is already in the books. Second, The Providence Journal estimates only 200 hotel and food service workers may strike at the Bally’s casino.
Plus, about 1,700 Bally’s Twin River Lincoln workers would remain on the job, leaving the casino games going.
A spokeswoman for the Rhode Island casino, Patti Doyle, responded to Bonus.com‘s question today about whether an agreement is on its way.
Doyle told Bonus.com:
We don’t provide public comment on personnel matters. But we are looking forward to meeting with our union colleagues next week and remain hopeful for a successful resolution to outstanding issues.
Those “outstanding issues,” from the union’s point of view, involve the casino needing:
… increased staffing, more full-time schedules, and raises to match the increased costs of living.
That’s the gist of what Unite Here Local 26 posted on its Facebook page on June 28.
The post continues:
The workers’ demands are simple and reasonable.
So more than 92% of workers voted to authorize a strike if negotiations aren’t successful next week.
Union representatives didn’t respond to Bonus.com‘s request for comment today.
The Overall Situation for Bally’s
Bally’s Twin River Lincoln hotel and food service workers striking might look bad for Bally’s Corporation, in the grand scheme of things.
Sure, the retail casino would probably stay open, even in the event of a strike.
Plus, Bally’s is a far larger company than just one retail casino can impact. Bally’s has 14 land-based gambling establishments; a New Jersey online casino, Bally Casino; and Bally Bet, offering legal online sports betting in several states. Speaking of which, Bally Bet just launched today in New York.
Even so, picket signs at the Lincoln, RI, retail casino would only be eight miles north of the corporation’s Providence headquarters. Additionally, Bally’s is working on a $1 billion sale/leaseback of the Lincoln casino and Bally’s Tiverton Casino and Hotel.
So while Bally’s owns two land-based casinos in the state, the Lincoln facility is, in its words, “one of the largest gaming and entertainment venues in Rhode Island, with over 162,000 square feet of gaming space.”
That means that this Bally’s that’s a suburban neighbor to Boston and Providence draws gamblers in through its “large signature overhangs outside of our casino.”
The entrances reminiscent of sails are no accident in this part of the Ocean State. Architectural buffs might even see a resemblance to the Sydney Opera House.
The site even tells visitors to this retail casino situated aside Olney Pond to:
Feel at ease when you step inside to sails, corals, and other nautical décor.
So whichever direction the wind blows next week, Bally’s will probably try to keep the retail casino on an even keel.