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Atlantic City Casino Workers Compete in Casino Olympics

31 August 2001

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey –– As reported by the Associated Press: "In this olympics, there were no time trials, no TV cameras, no color commentators whispering into their microphones.

"The playing field was a parking lot next to a union hall. The only people in uniform were the chambermaids.

"At Local 54's Casino Olympics, the winners didn't get gold medals. Just cash. Which was only fitting. It's a cash business, after all.

"The fifth annual event, held has part of the casino workers' union's Labor Day Festival, included a bed-making contest, a drink-mixing competition, a bake-off and a timed race through an obstacle course for cocktail servers.

"…`We're professionals, and we get to show off our skills here,' said Terry McCabe, director of negotiations, who ran the contests. `It isn't easy to do these jobs. People don't understand how tough it is to be a cocktail server on a casino floor, with people bumping you, people pushing you, people shoving you.'

"…In the bartender competition, mixologists had as much time as they needed to whip up original concoctions -- one with booze, one without.

"…That contest may have been the judges' favorite. They had to taste all the drinks. `I'm getting bombed,' said Atlantic County Clerk Michael Garvin.

"In the food and cocktail servers contest, participants had to negotiate nine orange traffic cones set up in the shape of a rectangle while carrying a tray loaded with five filled champagne glasses.

"…`Customers in these casino hotels take superior service for granted, because it's an everyday occurrence,' said Local 54 president Bob McDevitt. `This is a way to celebrate our members' skills.'…"

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