Lawyers: Wynn Tip Decision is Legal
Dealers at Wynn Las Vegas have universally voiced their displeasure over the casino's plans to restructure tip distribution that will cut their wages between 10 and 20 percent. Legally, however, they may have little recourse, labor law experts said Wednesday. Starting Sept. 1, table game supervisors will share in the tips earned by dealers. Wynn executives said the move is being done to correct the widening disparity between the wages earned by dealers and casino floor supervisors.
In an Aug. 21 memo distributed to all Wynn table games employees, casino President Andrew Pascal used almost the exact language as the 1975 decision in saying that supervisors contribute to customer service as much as dealers.
"As such, it is only appropriate that each of these positions share in the generosity of the customers," Pascal said in the memo.
"Based on the legal rulings we've seen regarding tip pooling, I think they can make an argument in favor of what they're doing," Segerbloom said.
Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman Steve Wynn and other executives told table game employees of the pending changes Monday night.
One Wynn Las Vegas dealer, writing a post on CasinoDealers.net, an Internet forum, said Wynn challenged the dealers to contest the changes.
"He even had the guts to stand up and say in the meeting, 'You can try to get a lawyer, but don't bother. Just talk to our lawyer and he'll tell you that what we are doing is legal by
Pascal said that dealers at the property are the highest-paid dealers in the city, averaging about $100,000 per year in salary and tips. But the employees supervising dealers average about $60,000 a year in salary, Pascal said.
The large tips are due to Wynn's reliance on high-end customers, such as baccarat players, and is the main reason for the salary gap.
Dealers who split tips by shifts now will share those tokes with team leaders and supervisors, who also will receive a boost in base salary.
Pascal said dealers will earn an average of $90,000 annually while supervisors will be paid $95,000.
In addition, Wynn Las Vegas will implement a bonus program that will allow dealers to earn additional pay.
"We're still going to have the highest-paid dealers on the Strip," Pascal said. "What it does is rebalances the structure of our table games division and gives a person an incentive to take on more responsibility."
Wynn Las Vegas operates 140 table games, including baccarat. Pascal said about 820 table game positions at the casino will be affected in the restructuring.
The changes won't affect the casino's poker room and slot machine area.