Horseshoe Casino employees told some will be forced out of health benefits

Dealer: 'We've been lied to so many times'

CINCINNATI – Some Horseshoe Casino employees will be forced into part-time positions with no health benefits due to a company restructuring, according to an internal memo obtained by WCPO.

Casino managers announced at a staff meeting Wednesday they plan to hold a “bidding process” next week to decide who will still have benefits. The selection process is based on company seniority and Social Security numbers.

“Now that we have been operating for a full year, things have leveled out and we have a much clearer picture of our guests’ patterns in playing with us,” the memo states. “Thus, we need to modify our current table games team schedules to match the business patterns and volumes.”

According to a dealer at the casino that asked to remain anonymous, there were about 750 employees when she started working for Horseshoe in February of 2013. She said there are now about 330 workers.

She said this is the third time in less than 15 months employees have had to “bid” for their schedules.

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“We bid in the beginning just so everybody would get a schedule. We drew numbers for that,” she said. “Then we re-bid again in July and it took effect in August. We were told then that would be the case for at least a year. Now it is not even (a year later) and we’re re-bidding again.”

According to the memo, the casino will be posting a reduced list of full-time shifts “based on business patterns” that will be available for current employees.

Between Wednesday and Saturday, full-time workers have the option to volunteer for new part-time shifts.

Next Wednesday, workers will be allowed to choose one of the full-time positions. Those with the most seniority will get first choice. After that, the last four digits of the worker’s Social Security number will determine seniority. The lower the number, the higher on the list they’ll be.

“A lot of people that are not going to be able to do the change in their schedules are going to quit or go part-time,” WCPO’s source said. “We’re going to lose a lot more people. We’re losing them left and right.”

Those forced into part-time positions will no longer be on the casino’s medical, dental, life insurance and disability coverage, according to the memo.

The document lists the following options for employees losing their full-time positions:

  • Visit the Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov or call 800-318-2596.
  • Continue your current full-time benefits… at full cost.
  • Move off Horseshoe benefits and onto other possible benefits as a lifestyle change (e.g., you may be able to move to your spouse’s/domestic partner’s benefit plan depending on their coverage).

The memo also lists eight health clinics in the Tri-State that offer reduced rates.

“It’s crazy,” WCPO’s source said. “We were promised so many things. We’ve been lied to so many times… People were crying (at Wednesday’s meeting). People were mad and frustrated.”

The full-time shift restructuring comes after a slump in revenue at the casino.

Horseshoe's April revenue of $16.7 million is down 6 percent from last April and down 21 percent from March.

In the last 12 months, the casino has generated $215 million, which is far short of the $300 million goal they stated in advance of the March 2013 opening.

Table games revenue was $5.4 million for the month, which is higher than the monthly average of $4.9 million from March to December of last year.

WCPO’s source said she is looking for a new job because of the uncertain future of her position. 

“I don’t want to keep going through these changes every couple of months,” she said. “You can’t even get comfortable because even if they tell you it will be another year, it’s not guaranteed to be another year.”

A spokesperson for Caesars Entertainment Corporation, a partner of Horseshoe Cincinnati developer Rock Ohio Caesars LLC, said this restructuring is affecting about 5 percent of current Cincinnati employees.

“As a seasonal business, we must periodically adjust workforce schedules to better align staffing with the visitation patterns of our guests, which is a common practice throughout the gaming industry,” spokesperson Shannon Mortland said. “As the business matures, a handful of casino positions are no longer necessary.”

Read the internal memo

 
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