(Chuck Muth) – The last thing gaming giant Steve Wynn needs is to be defended by a small-fry Nevada political activist/columnist like me. But here we go anyway.
On a recent edition of “Nevada Week in Review,” John Huck, Fox 5 News anchor, had this to say: “I heard a viewer make the point, you know, how hypocritical Steve Wynn (was) to call President Obama’s economic program socialism-lite when Steve Wynn is pushing for tip-sharing. And that, in the viewer’s words, that’s the worst kind of socialism.”
First of all, socialism is a form of government. Steve Wynn is not (yet) his own government. He’s an entrepreneur who rolled the dice, risked a lot, persevered and won big. And thousands upon thousands of Nevadans who have jobs today have Steve Wynn’s business acumen to thank for the roof over their heads, the food on their tables and the clothes on their backs.
Secondly, anyone who has ever served in the hospitality industry knows that tip-sharing is an old and well-established practice. Table waiters and waitresses regularly give a percentage of their tips to the bartenders, hostesses and busboys who help them do their jobs. Wynn simply extended that practice to dealers and pit bosses.
But should he have?
It doesn’t matter. The question is purely academic. It’s Wynn’s company. He can and should be able to set the rules he believes are in the best interest of his company. Any dealer who doesn’t like it is free to quit and find employment elsewhere which doesn’t have such a tip-sharing policy. Nobody has a gun to their heads forcing them to work for the Wynn.
Go work for the Fontainebleau or Echelon.
We’re talkin’ golden rule, folks. He who has the gold makes the rules. And in private business, that’s exactly how it should be. The LAST thing we need are bozos in government – most of whom have never operated any business more complicated than a lemonade stand or paper route – using the power of government to mandate wage and benefit policies for private businesses.
Let the government fix the DMV and the public schools first before worrying about how Steve Wynn, or any other business owner, compensates his or her employees.
And then there’s the matter of Kanie Kastroll.
Kastroll, a dealer, has reportedly worked in smoke-filled casinos for 20 years – the last four at the Wynn. She’s now playing the Lawsuit Lottery, filing a $5 million federal lawsuit claiming the Wynn is an unsafe workplace due to second-hand smoke.
This is clearly a case of monkey see, monkey do. Apparently Kastroll didn’t realize she was working in an unsafe environment until an employee working for Harrah’s filed a similar complaint. Indeed, Kastroll has retained the same Chicago-based blood-sucking ambulance chasers who are suing Caesar’s Palace.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Kastroll “decided to sue her employer to protect her health and that of her fellow employees and non-smoking customers.”
Of course, a more likely explanation is that Kanie Kastroll is an ungrateful, money-grubbing opportunistic gold-digger. Do you mean to tell me that Kastroll has been around casinos for 20 years and is suddenly shocked – SHOCKED! – to find that smoking was going on there?
And if Kanie was so concerned about her health, why did she take the job there in the first place? Why didn’t she just quit and go work for a non-smoking business? Like at the Echelon or Fontainebleau. Indeed, if Kastroll’s “fellow employees and non-smoking customers” don’t like the smoking environment at the Wynn, please tell me who is putting a gun to their heads and forcing them to work or gamble there.
If Kanie, her fellow employees and non-smoking customers don’t like the smoking and tip-sharing and policies at the Wynn, then they should all go out and open their own competing casino and see how well they do in a free market. Otherwise, get off Steve Wynn’s back.