Reports emerging from Windsor, Ontario, is that Caesars Windsor Casino is willing to roll the dice on a land-based sportsbook. Unifor Local 444 president Dave Cassidy shared that the gaming property has recovered well from previous closures, but still suffers from border complications. That is why a brick-and-mortar sportsbook could come in handy.
Similar to any other gaming property in Ontario over the last almost two years now, the Windsor casino has been affected by the many closures and health and safety restrictions surrounding the unprecedented situation. Most of the staff has returned to its positions, however, the casino still experiences difficulties when it comes to patrons arriving from the U.S.
Attracting More Guests
President of Unifor Local 444, Mr. Cassidy commented that the casino’s activities are returning to normal and that they are significantly better than a year ago. However, in his words, there is still a problem with U.S. visits as it compiles 30% of the casino’s business. That is why the company is considering bringing a brick-and-mortar sportsbook to its premises.
He commented that the introduction of a such sportsbook, which will be the first one in Ontario, would surely attract more business to the casino. He also noted that live entertainment is back at the casino, but the feeling is not quite the same as it used to be. And a potential sportsbook will guarantee that the property will build on its amenities, said the union president.
Mr. Cassidy added that it remains unclear when the casino will reopen its Market Buffet. However, he clarified that the buffet does not make money for the property, which is another thing that the union and the company are working on. But he insists that the union continues to push to expand the offerings and bring all of its unionized members back to work.
In addition to that, he explained that it is currently unclear how many of the union members have moved on to another job. He said that lots of people already left and lots who have not returned yet. Lastly, he stated that he and the union continue to put effort into bringing back all of its members back to work at the casino.
Contracts for Staff and Operator Agreed
Back in March this year, Unifor Local 444 and Caesars Windsor Casino managed to agree on a new collective contract for ununionized staff. According to the union, 93% of workers voted in favour of the proposed contract. The proposed terms would grant union members a wage increase over the next three years as well as some hefty signing bonuses for full-time and part-time positions.
Caesars Windsor Casino is owned by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and operated by gambling giant Caesars Entertainment. Last month, the OLG revealed that it has reached an agreement with the operator to extend its contract by another year. The previous agreement would have allowed the company to operate the casino until August 2024, but now it will be able to do so until August 2025.
Source: “More staff back, but border issues continue to be a challenge for Caesars”, Am800, September 6, 2022