Steve Wynn probably never imagined, in 2006, that a simple decision could have such long-lasting consequences. Of course, since he’s out as the top man of Wynn Resorts, he won’t have to worry about it anymore, but his legacy will forever live on. In a case that most feel should have died years ago, game dealers are ensuring that a lawsuit they initially filed in 2013 doesn’t die.
In 2006, after hearing enough pit bosses whine because dealers were making more money than they were, Wynn waved his magic wand and instantaneously, all dealers were required to give 15% of their tips to the supervisors. The dealers didn’t take the move lying down, arguing that Wynn should increase the supervisors’ salaries if they weren’t happy with what they made. When the argument fell on deaf ears, the dealers took things into their own hands, launching a lawsuit against the company.
About 800 dealers took the company to court and, in 2014, Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Clive Jones ruled in favor of the casino and the supervisors. In handing down his ruling, Judge Jones asserted that the Department of Labor did not have the authority to regulate the tip policies of businesses; however, the courts saw things differently. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in 2016, shot him down and allowed the suit to continue.
Fast-forward two years and Wynn went to the Supreme Court in order to get its take on the matter. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, leaving Wynn down and rejected. While all of this was happening, this past March to be specific, Congress passed a law that states that tips can be shared in a business with those that normally wouldn’t receive them. However, it added a caveat and specifically stipulates that supervisors cannot receive any share. This led to the dealers filing a new case this past June. Unfortunately, since the law wasn’t enacted during the time in question, it doesn’t apply.
That revival is looking to recuperate as much as $50 million the dealers say they’re owed. There’s just one “minor” problem. When the Supreme Court rejected Wynn’s appeal, it ordered the case to be returned to the U.S. District Court – and to District Judge Robert Clive Jones. There’s no reason to believe his ruling will be any different the second time around.