The United Kingdom is proof that national casino industries are not immune from economic downturns as 150 workers from across Grosvenor Casinos’ seven London venues vote to strike.

With inflation spiralling and an energy crisis looming this winter, employees voted to reject retention bonus payments of £600 ($692) and £800 ($923) as “totally inadequate”.

Workers from the Unite union say they want a pay deal that at least falls in line with inflation, which jumped past 10 percent in July.

And their industry is not alone. Criminal trial lawyers are on an indefinite strike over pay, while bus drivers, postal service staff, transportation employees, telecommunication engineers and dockers have also agreed to withdraw their labor.

Meanwhile, the UK is waiting for new prime minister Liz Truss to draw up her economic plan for dealing with inflation and the spiralling cost of living crisis.

Grosvenor casino strike
There are seven Grosvenor casinos in London

Casino Industry Will Be Watching

Casinos can sometimes ride out slumps in the national economy as gamblers maintain their preference to enjoy the form of entertainment even when cash is tight.

Indeed, the likes of Las Vegas and Monte Carlo – as well as big casinos across many of the west’s biggest capitals – continued to thrive even during the last recession.

Now the world economy is teetering on the edge of recession, those in charge of national casino industries will be watching closely to see how their employees react.

We’ve already seen in Vegas 25,000 casino workers vote to strike in 2018. This June 96 percent of balloted workers at five Atlantic City casinos threatened to strike if new employment conditions weren’t agreed. And six Ontario casinos only averted mass strike action after workers signed a new agreement.

Striking is the last form of negotiation and a decision that is not taken lightly. And every casino strike has the industry looking on.

A spokesperson for Rank Group – which owns London’s Grosvenor Casinos – said: “Against the backdrop of an extremely challenging trading environment for Rank, and for the sector as a whole, we have made a strong offer which we believe fairly addresses the current cost of living crisis.”

In response, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Grosvenor Casinos is another big money company that is raking it in but refusing to pay its workers a wage that they can live on.

“It’s just not acceptable and this huge vote for action underscores the sense of anger across this workforce.”

Joe Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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