Across the Ambassador Bridge from Windsor, Detroit’s three retail casinos are facing a potential issue. Last Friday, Detroit casino workers authorized a strike to take place if a new contract isn’t met by Oct. 16.
Should the Detroit casinos be impacted by a strike, will it send their customers to the nearby Ontario casinos?
Five unions combine to authorize strike
A total of five unions are making up the Detroit Casino Council.
The five unions are:
- UNITE HERE Local 24
- Teamsters Local 1038
- Operating Engineers Local 324
- Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters
They are seeking a new contract with the three Detroit casinos – MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown.
Workers are looking for wage increases, retirement security and job protection from implementation of technology.
Last Friday the unions voted 99% “yes” to authorizing a strike if the DCC feels it is the best move on or after Oct. 16.
Representatives for the MGM Grand Detroit told PlayMichigan that they are having “productive meetings” with the DCC and they are confident they will reach an agreement that satisfies both parties.
Ontario casinos closer to Detroit than some Michigan casinos
In Michigan, Detroit’s three casinos are on a bit of an island.
Should there be a workers’ strike, that certainly would impact the three casinos’ ability to operate and likely would lead to a shutdown.
Outside of the three casinos in town, getting to another casino in Michigan from Detroit is quite a hike. The nearest are over 100 miles away.
- FireKeepers Casino (Battle Creek): 113 miles
- Soaring Eagle Casino (Mt. Pleasant): 152 miles
- Gun Lake Casino (Wayland): 170 miles
- Four Winds Casino (Hartford): 174 miles
That would leave Detroit casino-goers with two options if they were seeking a nearby retail casino experience.
One option would be going to Hollywood Casino in Toledo, Ohio. That sits about 64 miles from Detroit and does have a tie to Hollywood Casino at Greektown with PENN Play rewards.
The other option would be four different casinos right in Ontario that sit 70 miles or less from Detroit.
- Caesars Windsor: 2-3 miles
- Cascades Casino Chatham: 52 miles
- Starlight Casino Point Edward: 65 miles
- Gateway Casino Sarnia: 69 miles
Travel time to these casinos does require crossing the border, but it’s a largely efficient process.
Caesars Windsor is as close as it gets to Detroit. Those with the ability to cross into Canada are likely to give Caesars Windsor a visit.
The Detroit casino workers strike is something Ontario casinos definitely should be keeping an eye on. The ripple effects could certainly carry into Canada — including ripple effects in the digital space. If Detroit gamblers cross the border to go to an Ontario casino, they may also be interested in Ontario online casinos, as there are many more options here than in Michigan.