'We're gonna shut this town down.'

Casino War stories: here

No peace for Atlantic City residents

The Press of Atlantic City had photos of an estimated 3,000 union supporters marching down Pacific Avenue, the main drag in Atlantic City -- illegally, i.e., without a permit -- shouting "Negotiate" in support of casino dealers being unionized by the United Automobile Workers.

Vowing that "we're gonna shut this town down," Roy Foster, president of the Atlantic-Cape May County AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, yelled "Let's get ready to rumble" to the protesters before they headed down the street. "I say today it's an eye for eye." Stopping in front of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, the protesters shouted: "Donald Trump, negotiate! Whose city? Our city! No justice, no peace!"

Four days later, the headline in The Press of Atlantic City was about something new at Trump Plaza: "No dealers, but plenty of action at Atlantic City's new automated poker tables."

Reporting that Trump Plaza is "the first gaming hall in town to introduce electronic poker tables," The Press article highlighted a satisfied customer's comments regarding no-dealer tables of poker: "Perhaps the best thing about playing electronic poker, Marc Zahra said wryly, is that you don't have to tip the dealer."

Additionally, said the Press in its front page coverage, "According to Zahra and his girlfriend, Rachael Stalcoskie, who needs human dealers when a machine will do just fine?"

The 10-seat computer-driven poker games have been "a great success in other markets, including Illinois, Connecticut and Canada," reported the Press in another article, adding that the automation is good for people who "love playing poker but don't like to deal with people and their sometimes intimidating personalities."

The "beauty of the automation is that we can go ahead and operate tournaments around the clock," said Trump Plaza general manager Jim Rigot. "There are no concerns regarding staff."

Adding to the bottom line, the automated poker tables play 40 percent more hands per hour as human dealers. "It is also error free," with "no worrying about pushing pots to the wrong customers," explained Rigot. "It's just an all-around winner."

The UAW, reported the Press, had no comment regarding the charge that the union's actions are producing a more automated workplace that could cost its members their jobs, like in Detroit.


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