Robots shake CES 2024, stirring casino worker fears.


  • Robots and artificial intelligence (AI) were showcased at the annual CES technology trade show in Las Vegas, causing concern for hospitality workers.
  • Casino union workers fear that their jobs are at risk as AI technology advances.
  • The Culinary Workers Union negotiated new contracts with hotels to protect against job loss due to technology.
  • Experts say that AI breakthroughs have forced labor unions to rethink how they negotiate with companies.

Innovations in robotics and AI were on display at the CES technology trade show in Las Vegas, causing concern for casino union workers who fear that their jobs are at risk. The Culinary Workers Union recently negotiated new contracts for its members to protect against job loss due to technology. The emergence of artificial intelligence and robotics has forced labor unions to be more deliberate in negotiating for job security. The union has included provisions in the contract that protect workers from jobs eliminated by technology or AI, including severance pay and the option to move to a different department within the company.

Experts warn that AI poses a real threat to casino union jobs that don’t require face-to-face customer interaction. Roles such as housekeeping, food preparation, and cooks are particularly vulnerable to automation. However, some tech companies argue that their robots and AI systems can help fill labor shortages in the service industry and improve efficiency. While some workers acknowledge the industry’s need to evolve, they also express concern about the increasing reliance on technology.

The Culinary Union sent more than 100 members to the CES trade show to explore emerging technologies that could potentially put more casino jobs at risk. The trade show showcased various robotic systems, including autonomous delivery robots, robotic masseuses, and AI-powered smart grills. The hospitality industry, particularly in tourist destinations like Las Vegas, must balance customer expectations of top-notch service with advancing technology.