Unionized Detroit Casino Workers Advise Customers to Avoid iGaming Amidst Labor Dispute

Posted on: November 10, 2023, 03:36h. 

Last updated on: November 10, 2023, 03:36h.

Casino workers in Detroit are urging sports bettors to steer clear of the mobile platforms linked to the casinos where they have been on strike for the past month.

Michigan iGaming GGR sports betting sportsbook
A mobile device shows the online BetMGM Sportsbook. Detroit casino workers are asking sports bettors to steer clear of BetMGM and other iGaming platforms until their strike ends. (Image: Casino.org)

The Detroit Casino Council, a coalition of unions representing casino workers, has called for a public boycott of four sports betting and online casino platforms linked to the three casinos where workers have been on strike.

The unions say bettors should avoid FanDuel, which is affiliated with MotorCity Casino; the soon-to-launch ESPN Bet and Hollywood iCasino, both linked to Hollywood Casino at Greektown; and BetMGM, the online outpost of MGM Grand Detroit.

Starting Monday, the council will launch a digital ad campaign targeting users of the three platforms and encouraging them to gamble elsewhere until the strike is resolved. The move extends the picket lines into cyberspace and is aimed at informing online bettors who may be unaware that workers have been on strike at the casinos since mid-October.

The online platforms represent “critical sources of revenue for the companies that operate Detroit’s three casinos,” said Nia Winston, President of UNITE HERE Local 24, in a statement Friday.

“Workers have been outside the physical locations 24/7 since going out on strike three weeks ago to win a fair contract,” Winston said. “Now, they’re calling on the public not to cross their virtual picket line either, and to boycott these apps until the strike is settled.”

The unions are not targeting other iGaming platforms such as Caesars Sportsbook, Caesars Palace Online Casino, WynnBET, DraftKings, Sports Illustrated Sportsbook and others.

Negotiations Ongoing 

Approximately 3,700 Detroit casino workers have been on strike since Oct. 17, when their contracts expired at the MGM Grand, MotorCity Casino Hotel, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown. They are represented by unions including the United Auto Workers, Teamsters Local 1038, UNITE HERE Local 24, Operating Engineers Local 324, and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, which are negotiating under the umbrella of the Detroit Casino Council.

It’s clear that the workers want to be fairly compensated for their sacrifices during the pandemic, especially as conditions have improved.

No Strike in Vegas

The Detroit unions are making a stand at a time when worker power is growing across various sectors of the economy, including the gaming industry. Las Vegas hospitality workers narrowly averted a strike this week after striking a deal with major casino operators.


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