Wind Creek Gives Casino Workers Stipend to Ease Inflation Impact, Reworks Schedules

Posted on: July 13, 2022, 12:43h. 

Last updated on: July 13, 2022, 01:12h.

Wind Creek Hospitality is giving its thousands of workers stimulus checks to help ease some of the inflation pain Americans are incurring almost anytime they make a purchase.

Wind Creek casino Alabama Pennsylvania inflation
Wind Creek Casino, seen from above. The Pennsylvania casino owned and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama is providing its workers with money to help offset inflation. (Image: Lehigh Valley Live)

Inflation continues to skyrocket, seemingly out of control, with no ceiling in sight. Consumer prices, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says, rose 8.3% year-over-year in April, 8.6% in May, and 9.1% in June. Last month’s inflation spike reported today exceeded expectations of 8.8%.

With inflation making the cost of living increasingly more expensive, Wind Creek Hospitality is giving free cash to its staff. The gaming and hospitality unit of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama owns and operates casinos in its home state, plus Pennsylvania, Nevada, Aruba, and Curacao. Wind Creek is additionally constructing a casino in Chicago that’s expected to open next year.

Wind Creek’s most critical investment and largest acquisition to date came in March 2018, when it agreed to acquire Sands Bethlehem from Las Vegas Sands for $1.3 billion. The casino resort in Eastern Pennsylvania is today known as Wind Creek Bethlehem.

Stimulus, Flex Schedules

Wind Creek Hospitality did not specify how much each staff member would receive under its inflation stimulus program. But the company said all full- and part-time employees qualify.

“We know the importance and value of each of our employees, and it’s great to help them and their families during this pivotal time of drastic inflation,” said Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal Chair Stephanie Bryan. “Every member of our Tribal Council believes very strongly that they need to support our team at this time.”

Along with the one-time cash stipend, Wind Creek explained that it’s working to rearrange workers’ schedules to limit the impact of high gas prices. The gaming operator says longer shifts up to 12 hours will be available to certain employees in hopes of reducing the number of days each team member must drive to the casino.

If we can create schedules where employees only have to drive to work three or four days each week instead of the traditional five days, it amounts to a 20% or even 40% reduction in fuel costs and potential child-care costs,” said Jay Dorris, president and CEO of Wind Creek Gaming. “Those are important dollars for the families of our team.

“Every dollar they don’t have to put into a gas tank is a dollar they can use elsewhere for their families,” Dorris added.

Community Benefactor

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians has a lengthy track record of stepping up in times of need. Alabama’s only federally recognized tribe has over the past half-decade become one of the more charitable gaming operators in the US.

Following a 2019 devastating tornado in Alabama that claimed 23 lives, the Poarch Creek Indians covered funeral expenses for all of the victims. The tribe also made a $25,000 donation to help a damaged church make repairs.

Also, after completing its Pennsylvania casino acquisition in 2019, the tribe gave $90,000 to 10 local nonprofits in the Bethlehem area.