Dealers appeal ruling on tip pooling at Wynn Resorts

Dealers fighting a controversial 4-year-old tip-pooling program instituted at Wynn Resorts Ltd. have asked a Clark County District Court judge to throw out a ruling by Nevada's labor commissioner that the policy didn't violate state law.

The filing was expected, said an attorney for Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.

In July, state Labor Commissioner Michael Tancheck ruled the program, in which table game supervisors were added into the tip pool to share in the tokes earned by dealers, was proper. The program, enacted in August 2006, gave supervisors new positions and titles and higher compensation levels.

Tancheck said in his ruling that evidence showed Wynn Resorts did not retain the tips for its own use, not did the casino operator gain a direct benefit because of the increased compensation earned by the supervisors.

The petition for judicial review covers a complaint filed four years ago by three Wynn Las Vegas dealers who sought to overturn the tip-pooling program. The dealers originally filed a class action lawsuit in District Court, only to have the matter dismissed because the case needed to be reviewed first by the labor commissioner.

In the filing, attorney Leon Greenberg wrote that Tancheck's decision violated constitutional or statutory provisions and erred based on the record, among several reasons.

Wynn attorney Greg Kamer said it may take well into November for the labor commissioner and both parties to file motions.

The tip-pooling policy was first enacted at Wynn Las Vegas and instituted at Encore when the hotel-casino opened in December 2008.

In his ruling, Tancheck said dealers did not present any direct evidence or testimony showing that the Wynn properties kept the tips for other usage, rather than just to generate income to the dealers exclusion.

In protest to the tip-pooling policy, dealers at Wynn voted to unionize through the New York-based Transport Workers Union of America in 2008. A collective bargaining agreement, however, has yet to be reached.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at or 702-477-3871.