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Writer says casino jobs offer no real security

To the editor:

A Massachusetts Casino Careers Training Institute is coming to our public community colleges? It’s bad enough that we in western Massachusetts will have a new casino foisted on us, like it or not, but why should we also have to subsidize the gaming industry with our tax dollars? What next, an associate’s degree in blackjack dealing?

The casino industry lays off workers frequently and where can they go with that sort of training? For example, see the NPR story from January 2012, “Employees to Face ‘Term Limits’ at Casino,” about an Atlantic City casino that forces employees to reapply for their own jobs every four to six years, competing with other applicants and with no assurance that they will be rehired. To quote this article:

“Atlantic City casino employee Jeff Payne sits in the living room of the comfortable house he bought with his earnings. He has been with Caesars for 23 years. Now, he serves drinks in the high-roller lounge.

“ ‘How can you buy a car if you don’t know you’re going to have a job?’ Payne asks. ‘You want to refinance your home; you want to buy a home. I mean, these have always been decent jobs, good-paying jobs, sustaining jobs. But my concern is, you get this job — and then you have no job security.’

“Payne, a union member, says the new jobs aren’t what were promised when gaming came to Atlantic City. But a lot of people laid off from casinos in Atlantic City in the past few years still haven’t found work.”

Devorah Levy


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