Wynn Resorts $50 Million Quarrel with Dealers Over Tips Heads Back to Court

Posted on: December 10, 2018, 09:29h. 

Last updated on: December 10, 2018, 09:30h.

Hundreds of Wynn Las Vegas dealers will be praying that a new federal law won’t torpedo their 12-year legal battle with their employer, Wynn Resorts.

Wynn dealers
Raw Deal: Roughly 800 Wynn dealers have been scrapping for 12 years to get what they believe is owned to them – their share of tips, worth around $50 million. (Image: Wynn Resorts)

The dealers are fighting to claw back millions of dollars they say they were denied when the company’s disgraced former chairman and CEO Steve Wynn introduced a policy in 2006 that forced them to share 15 percent of their tips with pit bosses.

The new rules were brought in to address the fact that supervisors were often paid less than dealers because of tips from customers, but the dealers argued the company should have simply raised the supervisors’ salaries.

SCOTUS Tosses Case

The dealers lost their case in 2014 in the District Court of Nevada but won on appeal later that year. A major factor in the reversal was the 2011 prohibition of tip-pooling by an Obama administration revision of Labor Department rules — rules that have since been rescinded by the Trump administration.

In March, Congress passed legislation that allowed the sharing of tips with employees that don’t regularly receive them — although it prohibits sharing with supervisors. In June, the US Supreme Court tossed an appeal by Wynn Resorts, prompting the company to file a new federal lawsuit citing the change in the law.

The case will be heard next Monday by Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Clive Jones, the very judge who ruled against the dealers in 2014.

Fight Not Over

To further confuse matters, in October, Wynn Resorts reversed its policy so that pit bosses are no longer part of the tip-sharing pool.

The move was applauded by dealers, but Kanie Kastroll — one of around 800 who have joined the litigation — recently told Las Vegas Now that the fight is not over. She says the previous policy cost dealers around $10,000 each per year and believes Wynn is on the hook for about $50 million.

“We still want our back money,” she said. “It made a lot of people lose a lot of money. Personally, I would say $150,000 for me.

“It’s a great start, but it can be so much better when we can get paid what money we’ve been missing for 12 long years.”

But Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that because the law has now changed, the dealers no longer have a case.

“Our position is that the March 2018 change in the law rendered the 2011 Department of Labor regulation, upon which the dealers base their argument, invalid,” he said.