No BP Funds for Oil Spill Blackjack Dealers
Dec 27, 2010
Casino gambling along the Gulf Coast has seen a dramatic decline in the wake of this year’s British Petrol oil spill, but dealers are not getting restitution.
Casino dealers at casinos along the Gulf have taken a hit this year. Croupiers who work craps tables and blackjack card games rely heavily on tips, but since the British Petrol oil disaster scared away many of area’s regular gamblers, dealers are suffering.
Brad McDonald, who works for the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, is one such dealer who has seen a drop in blackjack tips since the spill. He applied for compensation through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, which has been set up to distribute $20 million of BP’s compensation funds to victims of the disaster. His application was turned down, along with those of hundreds of other casino workers from the region, including dealers, bartenders, waitresses, bellhops.
“Everybody who had the word ‘casino’ in their claims had their claims denied,” says McDonald. “It’s been extremely frustrating.”
Beverly Martin, executive director of the Mississippi Casino Operators Association, says that of the 11,000 casino workers along the Mississippi coast, about a third of them work for tips. She says that she has already received 500 e-mails from casino employees who have been denied compensation.
Attorneys for the Claims Facility insist that no applicants are being turned down just because they work at a casino, but instead he says that workers are simply not documenting their claims well enough. Applicants must supply proof of lost revenue to be accepted. But one dealer from the Beau Rivage turned in paycheck stubs and tax records to show he’d lost $7,000 in revenue this summer, and even his claim was denied.
The deadline to apply for emergency payments was last month, but blackjack dealers and other casino workers who were turned down may be able to reapply for interim payments.
Tags: Beverly Martin, Blackjack, Brad McDonald, Casino, Claims Facility, Croupier, dealer, executive director, Gulf Coast, Gulf Coast Claims Facility, Hard Rock Hotel, Man-Made Disaster, Mississippi, Mississippi Casino Operators Association, Mississippi coast, oil disaster, oil spill, USD