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Super Bowl Playing Steelers Involved in Poker Lawsuit

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Feb/01/2009

The owners of the Super Bowl-playing Pittsburgh Steelers are involved in a controversial lawsuit about, of all things, poker.

According to media reports, the Rooney family, which has owned the NFL's Steelers for decades, also owns a combination greyhound racetrack and poker room in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA, called the West Palm Beach Kennel Club.

The Rooneys are being sued in Federal Court by 20 former and current poker dealers from the club over tips.

Of those 20, only one is still employed at the club.

The dealers claim they are owed thousands of dollars in back pay because the club improperly distributed a portion of their tips to other poker room employees.

Attorneys for the club claim the distribution of the tips followed Federal law and industry standards.

The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act allows businesses to pay employees below the minimum wage if the employees customarily receive tips.

Because poker dealers are routinely paid tips from card players, the West Palm Beach Kennel Club set the dealers' pay at about $3 below minimum wage.

But when the dealers received tips, they were required to put 5% of the tip monies into a pool that was distributed to cashiers, hosts and floor supervisors in the poker room.

The lawsuit is scheduled to begin in March.

 

Meanwhile, you can bet on the Steelers to win the 2009 Super Bowl at BetUS.com

Thomas Somach, www.pokerhelper.com

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