Sunday, July 26, 2009

From the Files of It Had To Happen Eventually

The weekend papers contained three stories that were interesting, but not surprising to me. They just seemed preordained to occur one of these days.

1. Ex-dealer sues over exposure to smoke. Saturday's Howard Stutz piece in the Review-Journal about the former Caesars Palace blackjack dealer who is suing because after suffering precancerous stomach cells and told by her doctor she couldn't keep sucking in second-hand smoke on her job, the resort allegedly refused to reassign her to a nonsmoking gig. I hadn't even realized that Caesars had once had nonsmoking gaming areas until 2005, when Harrah's bought the joint and got rid of them. But this won't be the last lawsuit by a cancer-stricken dealer, to be sure. MGM Mirage's Alan Feldman told me last year he expects all Vegas casinos to be smoke-free within 10 years. Maybe they're hoping the courts force it so they don't have to take the blame from the public?

2. Liquor licenses for nightclubs denied. On the heels of the $500,000 fine to P-Ho for infractions at Prive nightclub, the club itself now lost its liquor license. Again, just the first of many chips to fall in a perilous business.

3. Player heaps scorn in Series' suits. Stutz's column today about the WSOP finalist who is attacking the tournament itself was a great read. Card Player magazine editor Jeff Shulman is presently in 4th, has already won $1.26 millon and now waits with the other eight for the Final Table in November. But while the WSOP chiefs wanted the November Nine to spend the time talking up the tournament and game, Shulman says he'll toss his bracelet in the trash or auction it for charity if he wins. That it would be the editor of a publication in direct competition with the magazine that is the official sponsor of the WSOP is a script we could never predict, but it seems now predictable that sooner or later someone would use their position to devour the hand that is feeding him. Shulman's complaint is the tournament is too big, to reliant on luck, too corporate. And yet he still plays in it, covers it in his publication, took his $1.26 million? Here is again one of the charms and problems of the WSOP -- anyone can win. And anyone who can win can say and do whatever they wish. A member of the Yankees who speaks out about what an asshole Steinbrenner or a Wimbledon player who tells a reporter the Queen of England is a hoary bitch can face consequences. But the World Series of Poker has no such control over its players and that's both a good and bad thing. What a total nightmare for them if Shulman wins, though.


Jay said...

As an ex-smoker the dealer suing doesn't surprise me. Last time I was in Vegas I could tell dealers did not like the smoke. Since I still smoked then I'd get up and take a short break while I left the table to go smoke. There was no need to annoy the other players or the dealer at the table in my opinion. I'm thinking casinos will build "smoking rooms" that smokers can go too. I'd bet the smoking dealers wouldn't mind working those rooms.

Anonymous said...

So they will tolerate "casino girls" working the floors, topless pools, parties like Rehab, excessive and encouraged drinking, having sucker bets like keno and roulette are fine, but G-d forbid I should light up a cigar at a craps table or walking through a casino. Got it. Certain adult behavior is acceptable and certain behavior isn't.

Since they care so much for the health of the customers and employees, are the casino hosts going to make sure that the "casino girls" wear condoms during the act too?

Offering a non-smoking section is fine if they want to. Banning it is something else again entirely.


Jesse said...

SG... smoking doesn't just impact the person doing it. it harms many other people. not just by offending them but by forcing them to ingest chemicals. Most of the things you mentioned only impact the person who does it. Also, the excessive drinking thing is, in fact, an issue. See #2. And, anyway, the point here is that it was bound to happen and I agree with Steve on that. Some day, smoking in casinos will be a competitive disadvantage or an employee health hazard too expensive to countenance. I can't wait for those days.

Anonymous said...

And when that day comes my interest in being there will be nil. It's an adult playground. Dealers know players smoke. Don't like smoke, don't deal the cards, spin the wheel, or hand over the dice. If players want a non-smoking section,I am all for it - just not mandatory.


commonsense said...

i;m sorry, but in order to become a dealer, you must at least first visit a dealers school, even if you have never set foot in a casino prior to entering the school.. but i would be hard pressed to believe that there has ever been a single dealer in the history of las vegas who hadn't walked through a casino and witnessed the environment in which they aspired to labor.

okay, but lets just, for a second, assume that this ONE dealer at caesars had never stepped foot in a casino before she decided to become a dealer. at the dealers school, i am sure that the students are informed of the fact that there are a trifecta of vices at work at the gaming tables: drinking, SMOKING, and gambling.

working as a casino dealer comes with its potential hazards ust like any other job. data entry specialists and secretaries are at risk for carpal tunnel due to endless hours on the keyboard. with dealers, the constant standing can lead to foot, knee, and lower back problems. it also comes with the potential of constant verbal abuse from players who are losing their money as you smile and take it away from them for having lost the bet. additionally, you must understand that you are exposed to the IMMEDIATE EXTERNAL EFFECTS OF CIGARETTE SMOKING.

are these dealers concerned with other the other external effects / social issues associated with gambling? example: a guy who plays at her table, drinks ten scotches, but didnt smoke.. tipped the "caesars lady" hundreds of dollars and made her joyous that night could have then turned around, took his winnings, got in a car, and killed her best friend out on I-15 in a DUI related accident.

i am a bartender on the strip. i suck in smoke all night. i smile while people lose untold amounts of money. i am unaware of the effects of their drinking after they leave my bar. i profit from sin and vice. i do not feel as though i will ever have the right to complain about the effects my work environment may take on my health, because i have voluntarily chosen to be there, and i am not a complete moron. this woman seems like a complete moron. she wants to have her cake and eat it too.

attention fellow dealers, bartenders: you embody the devil in order to put food on your table. simple as that. when you dance with the devil, you might get burned. get over it.

Anonymous said...

Commonsense, I sure wish more people used their own common sense as much as you do! Its called self responsibility. Don't expect others to take care of you, be responsible for yourself. The world would be SO much better off!