Nevada Casino Union Workers Key to 2024 Presidential Election

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
USA Legal Betting
Nevada Casino Union Workers Key to 2024 Presidential Election


  • A key union official believes Biden is the best president for the working class
  • The union was described as a “political juggernaut”
  • Nevada voted blue in the last four election, but Trump leads in polls

Nevada casinos are mostly known for their glitz and glamor, extravagant theatrics, and the occasional life-changing jackpots. But in 2024, they’re taking an important role in the upcoming presidential election.

The Culinary Union, which represents 60,000 hotel and casino employees mostly based out of Las Vegas, is ready to help back incumbent president Joe Biden’s campaign against the 45th President Donald Trump, who is seeking to become the second president to serve two non-consecutive terms.

The union helped turn Nevada, a historical swing state, for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020.

A growing power

The Union encourages its members to take to the streets whenever they are not tied up at their job posts.

Union secretary-treasurer, Ted Pappageorge, outlined a three-step process the union will follow: mobilize, register, and vote.

"By election day, we'll have 500 union members—men and women that are normally cleaning rooms in hotels, or cooking food, or serving drinks—out full-time, knocking on doors, registering folks to vote, taking folks to the polls," said Pappageorge. “Getting out [to] vote. There's no other way to win."

Las Vegas represents roughly 75 percent of Nevada’s total population (3.18 million in 2022). Vegas is liberal-leaning and holds lots of power in both local and federal elections because of its population density.

The Culinary Union is one of numerous reasons that Democrats have been so successful in the state, having won two-thirds of elections since 2000. The group is three times larger than it was in the late 1980s and is comprised of a diverse community. 60 percent of members identify as Latino, and 55 percent identify as female.

The union claimed it visited more than one million homes during the 2022 local election, which led to the reappointment of Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto by fewer than 8,000 votes.

Author Steven Greenhouse in his book Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present and Future of American Labor referred to the group as a “political juggernaut that has gone far in turning Nevada from red to blue.”

The union is not a strictly liberal organization and did not always support the Democratic party. However, its days of conservatism are over due to the group’s stance on President Biden.

"[Biden is] the best president for working-class people and families and unions in my lifetime,” said Pappageorge. 

All about the swing states

Clinton made numerous visits to Nevada and spent time with hotel and casino employees in the union during the build-up to the 2016 election. Meanwhile, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris made recent efforts to work with union leaders and endorse new contracts for labor groups.

Pappageorge said the union is pooling money and will pay its members to vacate their jobs and hit the streets during the coming months.

"They sign up for three to six months during the election year. They walk the neighborhoods every day, 10 hours a day, in 110 degrees, getting chased by dogs and all sorts of other things," said Pappageorge. "Workers talking to workers. That's how we move the working class vote in Nevada."

The union typically focuses on Las Vegas and Reno, the state’s densest cities with a strong liberal core.

However, FiveThirtyEight reported that during the week of March 17-24, Trump held a 48-44 percent lead in a poll sponsored by The Wall Street Journal.

Casinos are an enormous attraction in Vegas, commonly referred to as the gambling capital of the world. On top of offering legal sports betting at a variety of retail and online sportsbooks, table games, poker, and other forms of entertainment, the properties are also landmark locations for tourists.

Nevada holds six electoral votes in the upcoming election. It voted for Democrats in every presidential election since Barack Obama’s first campaign in 2008 and in six of the last eight presidential elections overall. The last Republican to win Nevada was George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004.