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MGM Springfield reaches $6.8m settlement over employment law violations

| By Richard Mulligan
MGM Springfield will pay almost $7m in restitution and penalties over widescale violations of employment law in Massachusetts.

The casino resort reached a settlement with the state attorney-general’s office (AGO) totalling $6.8m (€6.4m/£5.6m) over wage and hour violations. More than 2,000 employees are impacted by the agreement, which relates to complaints dating back to October 2018 – just two months after the $1bn venue opened its doors.

The full range of breaches by MGM Springfield included failure to pay minimum wage to tipped employees and settle overtime wages. Other violations related to tip retention, timely payments and sick pay.

As part of the settlement, the MGM Resorts International-operated casino will implement a compliance programme. An independent compliance reviewer retained by MGM and approved of by the AGO will carry this out.

Andrea Campbell, the Massachusetts attorney-general, vowed to hold accountable those who violate employment laws.

She said: “MGM Springfield’s failure to provide its employees, especially service workers earning an hourly wage and relying on tips, with their full wages and benefits made it more difficult for these employees to take care of themselves and their families.”

MGM Springfield was breaking rules from the start…

The AGO’s Fair Labor Division began receiving complaints soon after the casino opened in 2018. These included allegations that managers were illegally participating in wait staff tip-pooling. MGM also faces accusations of underpaying service-rate employees and forcing staff to work through their meal breaks without compensation.

The 2,036 impacted workers span much of the MGM Springfield operation and most were service employees earning hourly wages. These included table game dealers, banquet servers, bartenders and security guards.

The compliance programme will include regular training of relevant staff on wage and hour compliance and two annual wage and hour audits to be conducted by a third party. The third-party auditor will submit audit findings to AGO for review.

MGM Springfield generated more than $23m in table and slots gross gaming revenue in August 2023. It took $289,320 in sports betting revenue from a $1.6m handle in September, making it the state’s largest retail sportsbook.

The resort has 250 rooms and total gaming space of more than 125,000 sq ft. It is operated by MGM Resorts International and owned by Vici Properties.

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