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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

Is Wynn really a win?

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The big buzz on the internet forums, around Las Vegas, and especially at Wynn Las Vegas is the earth shattering, toke sharing news that Steve Wynn has laid on the table for his pit dealers. The dealers are to share their tokes with their pit supervisors. There are several places that one can read the news: Las Vegas Review Journal, John L. Smith (LVRJ columnist), and one of the most important, the horse's mouth source of information, the dealers themselves tell all at CasinoDealers.Net.

There have been major moves in the last decade or so to tax all tip related income, hence the ‘tip declaration' form one must sign when employed in a casino tipping related position, to make sure the IRS receives their portion in a timely manner. And the latest move at the WSOP where the dealers were forced to pool all tips and receive their income on a paycheck, after it was properly taxed.

In the case of Wynn Las Vegas, management is forcing their employees to subsidize the wages of other employees. Management could raise wages to fund positions for supervisors but instead chooses to sit back and collect all their due and then force other employees to give up a share of their ‘gift/gratuity' to make sure the supervising staff is competent. Ludicrous!

During the time period that I worked in The Mirage Poker Room, each dealer was forced to pay a ‘brush toke' - each shift - to subsidize the wages of the brush, chip runners, and phone person. If we played on shift, we were still expected to pay our brush toke, win or lose. This happens in more places than one, and is considered policy when you join the team.

In The WSOP and the IRS , I also presented the fact that in Mississippi, I was forced to turn all of my tips in at the end of each shift, and receive them two weeks later in the form of a check...meaning the casino was holding a gratuity given to me - along with a few other thousand employee's gratuities - and the casino was given the opportunity to utilize our money, our gift from an appreciative player, without compensating us with interest for the use of our money.

Management needs to wake up! The tip related industry is exactly that, tipping is our livelihood because we make close to minimum wage and the only time we receive an hourly increase is when minimum wage goes up. If management needs more highly trained, capable individuals in the pit, management should pay them accordingly. If management is filled with resentment over the fact that dealers make a decent wage, the answer is simple - change the color of your shirt and step into the box. Dealers take all kinds of abuse, especially in the pit, simply because the house is taking the player's money and the house wants to make sure it keeps getting the player's money.

The other side of the coin, expressed in The WSOP and the IRS article, when a tip is left for a supervisor, does it go into the tipping pool? Why is subsidizing an employee's wages one sided? Why must the dealer feed the casino? And if Wynn Las Vegas is a trend setter and the whole world goes that route, does it make it right?

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