Regarding the Feb. 28 editorial, "Hospitality in Atlantic City/Improvement needed":

Are you really serious? As a front-line casino employee, I've been exposed to a player literally drooling on my table, creating a puddle of saliva that environmental services had to clean and disinfect. During a shuffle, another player vomited in an ashcan, wiped his mouth on the back of his hand and sat back down in time for the next shoe.

I've had a player urinate in his pants and stain his seat because he was too lazy to get up and use the restroom. I've had a player threaten to assault me when I got off work because I simply did my job.

Not to mention the countless players whose body odor is so foul it literally makes you gag or whose hands are so filthy that you need to use hand sanitizer between every roll of the dice.

Now let's couple this with the industry's total dismantling of an entire work force, disrupting the lives and families of thousands of workers and creating an almost entirely part-time work force with no benefits, no vacation or sick time, and virtually no upward mobility. No wage increases. No incentives whatsoever. And with the city-wide mindset of upper management being "you're lucky you have a job," the overwhelming sentiment of employees throughout the city is that we really don't have a stake in any of this. It's a wonder that my co-workers and I go above and beyond in the hospitality department the way that we do.

Most front-line employees now have to work at two different properties on two different shifts just to make ends meet, changing uniforms in parking lots, sometimes dealing 16 hours a day.

My second part-time dealing job pays $3.90 an hour. No kidding. My first dealing job ever in 1979 paid $3.50 per hour.

So let's please keep all of this in mind before bashing front-line employees for their lack of hospitality.

With the bashing this work force has taken over the past six or seven years, along with the deregulation of the entire industry that has allowed casino corporations to increase their profit margins on the backs of those who poured their blood and sweat into the success of the properties they worked for, I, for one, was insulted and infuriated by the accusations of this editorial.

My co-workers and I put our best foot forward every time we tap into a game, for our own personal pride, if nothing else.

Atlantic City becoming a "resort destination" or even just becoming competitive again with the casinos in surrounding states will never happen as long as front-line employees continue to be treated with no respect and as second-class citizens who are nothing more than numbers on a balance sheet.

THOMAS CORTOPASSI

Mays Landing