Posted At : September 23, 2009 10:26 AM | Posted By : D McKee
Related Categories: Donald Trump,Labor,Internet gambling,The Strip,Isle of Capri,Environment,International,Atlantic City,Tribal,Current,The Mob,Regulation,Harrah's
Our Comment-Eating Server has been at it again, so here are a few reader remarks that got devoured in cyberspace (where no one can hear you scream at your computer) ...
With regard to "Gambling Scandal Ensnares Eight More":
This is disgraceful! How dare the Federal government interfere with private enterprise like this? Undoubtedly the casinos' self-government practices would have detected these infractions, right?
If -- and I'm not sure about this -- you're referring to tribal casinos, all generalizations are false, including this one. The Tran Organization took down 26 scores that ran the breadth and depth of casino industry: Strip resorts, locals casinos, backwater Isle of Capri operations, U.S. ones and Canadian ones, the smallest tribal casinos and the biggest, too. Even Barona Casino & Resort, which prides itself on being ahead of the industry, technologically speaking, got taken. The moral I draw from this is that too much stock is being put in game-protection technology and not enough in the human component. All the king's PTZ cameras and all the king's digital scratch pads don't know what a "false shuffle" is.
Another reader caught a hasty slip-up I made, when I wrote that Harrah's Entertainment's "$10 million a year for energy conservation isn't even 'a blimp on the radar' when it comes to Harrah's gargantuan annual budget. Heck, it's less than 2/3 of CEO Gary Loveman's compensation package for 2008 alone."
Maybe his compensation has gone down since 2002? I don't think so:
"Loveman, himself, is doing a bit better too: His business school professor's salary, approximately $120,000 (before consulting fees), is now well over $3 million, including stock options. He shuttles between his Boston-area home and Harrah's casinos around the country in a corporate jet. He has long since traded in his professorial Honda Accord for a Ferrari F-355 Spider. After 12 years in the same house, the Lovemans are currently building what neighbors describe as 'a very large' house in the Boston suburb where they live."
Maybe he's riding in a "green" corporate jet now?
Good point. What I was trying to compare was Harrah's $60 million in energy savings over six years. That is less than 2/3 of Loveman's $92 compensation for 2008. (His base salary for '09 is $1.9 million.)
And with regard to labor strife at Trump Plaza:
"While the casino's latest appeal is tied up in federal court, Trump Plaza management has refused to bargain at all.
"Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., which owns Trump Plaza, has said it expects to win in court. The case was first filed in September 2008.
"The court could side with the casino or uphold the National Labor Relations Board's ruling requiring the casino to bargain.
"'Throughout this entire process, it has not been our intention to attack any dealers who have chosen to support the union,' Juliano continued."
... David, you said "Kudos to Trump Entertainment Resorts CEO Mark Juliano for going out of his way to soothe potential animosity between labor and management."
- I would say: Kudos to Juliano if Trump would bargain in good faith with the union that won the election. As it is, Trump Entertainment Resorts owns & controls Trump Plaza and refuses to dignify their employees with negotiations that they voted for.
That's a major reason that we need passage of a "card check" law, which includes heavy fines against employers like this who refuse to negotiate (for years) with their workers' duly elected representatives.
Fair enough. And finally:
I don't gamble on the Internet because of security concerns with unregulated offshore sites, but I agree with this comment [same blog entry, under ["Health care reform + Internet gambling?"]: This is great! Ron Wyden is an innovative and responsible law maker. As an Internet gambler, I'd be happy to support American-based companies, and pay my patriotic taxes, instead of sending my "business" to Costa Rica.
Thanks to everyone for corresponding.