Crown Casino Strike To Cost Millions?, by Greg Tingle - 13th October 2010

Australian and international punters, casino millionaires, billionaires, entrepreneurs, journalists, politicians and everyone else... G'day. The world famous Australian Casino Wars continue to take new forms, and in the latest twist the upcoming Crown Casino staff strike is set to cost the firm millions according to bush tucker swag of experts, and this is likely music to the ears of competitor Tabcorp, now known on the world stage for their Sin City Sydney based Star City Casino. Media Man and Gambling911 once again play 'Casino Jack' with this special report from the front line of the Australian casino wars...

In what is understood to be Australia's most famous strike in recently history, James Packer owned Crown Casino will suffer massive disruptions during this coming Saturday’s Caulfield Cup happening with pretty cunning casino workers planning to strike over a pay dispute, a union official has told us.

Jess Walsh, spokeswoman for the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU), advised casino workers notified Crown of the pending strike action yesterday following the "no thanks" of the casino’s offer to increase worker wages by 3.75% a year, and this change the union says could end up costing casino dealers about $5000 bucks annually. Yep, it all adds up, and you were worried about how much you put into the land based and online casino slot machines!

Walsh reckons the strike which is planned for both Friday and Saturday will end up costing the casino a whopping $4 million plus in revenue and $1 million in profits each day, and to top it off the Victorian government could lose $400,000 in tax revenue per day. Just how much PR damage will be done is not known, but what is know that "casino haters" and "bible bashers" won' be loosing any sleep over this news, and may even be celebrating, some likely calling it "Gods Will" or you get the idea.

"Crown staff are demanding recognition and respect for being the best casino workers in the country,” Walsh said.

"Crown Melbourne dwarfs other Australian casinos by every measure. It needs to attract and retain the best staff and now it has an opportunity to do just that — by creating the best conditions at work. This strike will cost Crown dearly. It will cost Crown up to $180,000 in lost revenue every hour workers are on strike or more than $4 million for the day. Obviously, strike action is a last resort. Casino workers still hope Crown will put a fair offer on the table so this action can be averted."

It was just last week Crown upped its wage offer by 0.25% over three years, following the successful strike ballot, but most workers were none to impressed.

Crown spokesman Gary O’Neill said at the time the casino was confident its contingency plans were adequate to ensure the precinct continued to operate efficiently.

He went on to claim that 4448 employees were covered by the casino’s enterprise bargaining agreement and only 19% of those voted in the ballot.

He said the company regretted the union’s threat but would take the "necessary steps to protect its business and the interests of its customers and shareholders".

Media Man and Gambling911 are hopeful that the Crown Limited top brass and casino workers can work it out. Other than that, may the best side win. Game on?

*The Media Man founder and director is a shareholder in Crown Limited, just thought we better spell it out folks.

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how badly do you think the staff strike will effect things at Crown Casino? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

Crown Limited Share Price: $8.720

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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