Statement: Wall Street Investors Threaten Maryland’s Gaming Industry

Amidst growing concerns nationwide about the potentially corrosive influence of Wall Street Firms on casino management, UNITE HERE Local 25 will testify before Maryland’s Gaming Commission Meeting on Thursday, April 25th. Local 25 staff and members will call on the agency to work with stakeholders across the region to address these worrying changes in the industry.

Local 25 Political Director Sam Epps issued the following statement:

“We are extremely concerned about the growing influence of hedge funds and their senior officers in the gaming industry.

Wall Street investors have a disastrous history managing casinos. They caused significant harm to Atlantic City’s economy -- after Caesar’s was bought out in 2008 by investment firms Apollo and TPG, casinos were closed, which caused thousands of workers to lose their jobs.

We can’t allow the same to happen in Maryland. MGM National Harbor alone is the single largest gaming revenue-generator in the state. It employs 1200 workers under a strong union contract, which guarantees them healthcare, fair wages, and dignity on the job. MGM and other casinos provide hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes every year, and have already contributed over $1.7 billion to the state’s critical Education Trust Fund.

We need to raise the alarm now to protect this vital industry and the jobs it creates. We call on the State’s Gaming Commission to urgently examine how they can prevent a Wall Street takeover of our casinos, thereby preserving Maryland’s vital revenue and middle-class jobs.”