How Gaming Benefits Nevada
Despite the economic challenges caused by COVID 19 and the related response, the societal contributions the resorts make are impressive - not only for their own employees, but for the broader community. Examples ranging from sourcing personal protective equipment (e.g., over 12.5 million face masks donated to first responders, medical personnel, law enforcement, the community, employees and guests) to developing a rapid testing center demonstrate how the resort industry has stepped up to meet the current challenge. There are a number of highlights contained below that depict an industry that supports the people that are the backbone of Nevada.
Caesars Entertainment empowers more than 29,000 Nevada Team Members (as of December 2020), supports local businesses and nonprofit organizations, and respect the environment at each of their Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin and Lake Tahoe locations. Caesars advances responsible business practices while inspiring employees, guests, partners and communities to share in making a positive impact through their PEOPLE PLANET PLAY framework. A testament to their ‘Planet’ programming, properties across the state provide electric vehicle charging stations to guests at no charge, and the Linq Promenade in Las Vegas and THE ROW in Reno both host Tesla Supercharger stations.
In early 2020, Caesars opened the CAESARS FORUM, a state-of-the-art conference center. Through the project’s contracting initiative Arrive and Thrive, they engaged and mentored diverse businesses from groundbreaking to opening day. The program facilitated nearly $30 million to more than 36 diverse businesses across seven diversity categories over the two-year timeframe.
For the sixth consecutive year, Caesars Entertainment was recognized as one of The Civic 50’s most community minded companies in 2020. This mindset played a crucial part in the company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To support Team Members who suffered unanticipated hardships, Caesars established an employee assistance fund called Caesars Cares. Additional financial support has been provided by Caesars Entertainment and its nonprofit, the Caesars Foundation. In addition, properties donated over 400,000 pounds of food directly to food banks and pantries, along with various PPE.
Grand Sierra Resort & Casino
Grand Sierra Resort and Casino (GSR) is involved in the community in a number of ways, including through GSR Cares, where team members have been involved in extensive volunteering opportunities with local organizations and charities. GSR has also partnered with Lyft and Zero Fatalities Coalition to prevent impaired driving in Northern Nevada. Additionally, the company is committed to furthering education for the region and renewed its annual commitment to donate $35,000 to the Washoe County School District for the 2020-2021 school year, while pledging an additional $25,000 of in-kind donations. Furthermore, in preparation for a potential capacity surge due to the influx of COVID-19 patients, (GSR) provided 139 rollaway beds to Renown Health to be used to set up overflow availability when needed.
Boyd Gaming Corporation
Through these unprecedented times, Boyd Gaming remains committed to supporting the communities it calls home. To assist southern Nevada in its response to COVID-19, Boyd Gaming donated personal protective equipment (PPE) to local first responders and tens of thousands of pounds of surplus food to food bank partners. Additionally, Boyd Gaming made special donations of more than $500,000 to non-profit organizations focused on assisting local residents who were impacted by the pandemic and its economic ramifications.
Las Vegas Sands
Following the closure of their properties, the Las Vegas Sands committed to covering payroll costs for salaried employees while also giving hourly and part-time employees a weekly stipend. Additionally, the company committed to covering the pay of approximately 1,200 employees from the 14 third-party partner restaurants on its resort properties.
Sands donated $250,000 to several local organizations including Three Square, Communities in Schools, Share Village Las Vegas and Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. Furthermore, Sands donated over 68,100 pounds of food, or 56,700 meals, 55,000 bottles of water and 150 cases of dry food throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
From a medical standpoint, the company took the initiative to donate two million N95 respirator and surgical masks to local healthcare professionals, first responders and nonprofit organization. The company also donated 20,000 protective suits for the state’s hospitals and first responders, 1,900 coronavirus test kits and 20,000 hygiene kits to Spread the Word Nevada, Communities in Schools and the Public Education Foundation through Direct Care to Kids initiative. The company also donated roughly 104 cases of toilet paper to Nevada Homeless Alliance and U.S. Vets – Las Vegas.
To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Station Casinos donated $1 million to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to purchase personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies, including test kits, for use by first responders and healthcare professionals throughout Nevada.
Station Casinos also donated $160,000 to Three Square Food Bank and The Public Education Foundation as part of their 20-year anniversary of the “Smart Start” school program that supports some of the Clark County School District’s most in-need schools. Station Casinos’ $50,000 donation to Three Square Food Bank’s “BackPack for Kids” program provided bags of nutritious, single-serving, ready-to-eat items to children who might otherwise go without on weekends, long breaks from school and during summer months. Furthermore, Station Casinos’ donation of $110,000 to The Public Education's distance learning initiatives provided aid to at-risk schools by pioneering programs developed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic so teachers and parents could succeed in a digital learning environment. The 11 elementary schools in the “Smart Start” program had the opportunity to have parents participate in The Foundation’s virtual Family Learning Program, which provided parents with three weeks of instruction on commonly used technology platforms such as Canvas and Clever to close the digital divide faced by some parents. Schools were also given the opportunity for teachers to participate in The Foundation’s new Digital Leadership Institute where training was provided on best practices to successfully engage students and families in distance learning.
MGM Resorts International
Following the closure of their properties, MGM Resorts International donated to local food banks and medical groups, and quickly aligned to provide resources for their employees. The company’s chefs worked with the Social Impact and Sustainability team and local food banks to ensure large quantities of food were safely rescued and quickly donated to charitable organizations to serve people in need. In Southern Nevada alone, the company donated 444,000 pounds of food, or 370,000 meals. Across regional properties an additional 219,000 pounds or 182,000 meals were donated bringing the company’s total donation during the COVID-19 crisis to over 662,000 pounds of food, or 552,000 meals.
MGM Resorts International also leveraged their procurement and logistics expertise to support the Nevada COVID-19 task force in procuring 261,000 hospital gowns, 200,000 medical gloves and 500,000 KN95 respiratory masks through MGM Macau.
The MGM Resorts Foundation expanded the Employee Emergency Grant Fund within weeks of the companywide closure, to help eligible furloughed and separated employees and their families by providing financial assistance. The Employee Emergency Grant Fund disbursed over $15.5 million which covered 21,000 bill payments on behalf of current and former employees in need of assistance.
Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Reno
To help combat the COVID-19 health crisis impacts in Nevada, Peppermill Resort Spa Casino donated a pallet of medical gloves to the Nevada Trucking Association, 15 cases of bottled water to temporary shelter residents and donated all perishable food to Peppermill and Western Village employees and families. Despite the challenging environment created by the pandemic, the company continued to support area nonprofits with donations and in-kind support.
From a sustainability standpoint, through their geothermal energy investments, Peppermill was able to reduce their carbon footprint by 12,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. They upgraded their laundry facility to reduce water usage by 21.6 million gallons per year and installed 40,000 square feet of artificial grass to save an additional 5.2 million gallons of water annually. Furthermore, over 1.4 million kilowatt-hours were saved by switching over 400 fluorescent lightbulbs with LED ones.
The day following Governor Sisolak’s order for all non-essential businesses to temporarily close, Silverton Casino immediately provided COVID-19 relief efforts to the local community. The company enacted a volunteer workforce that made six trips to donate 21 pallets of perishable food, or roughly 3,500 meals, to local food banks within Clark County. The company also donated over 1,000 cases of bottled water to local hospitals and first responders.
Wynn Las Vegas
Over the course of 2019 through 2020, Wynn Las Vegas reported nearly 55,000 employee volunteer hours. In March 2020, the company launched the Virtual Volunteerism program to provide a convenient, flexible way for employees to volunteer without traveling and featured participation from over 40 nonprofits. Volunteer opportunities included mentoring, card writing, senior citizen check-in calls, assisting the visually impaired and offering career advice.
In 2020 alone, the company donated $2.5 million in monetary donations, $186,700 in Wynn Employee Foundation grants and $240,000 in COVID-19 emergency grants. The COVID-19 grants were distributed to eight nonprofits within Las Vegas and Boston that focused on food insecurity, mental health and combatting domestic violence. Las Vegas nonprofit recipients include Three Square, Delivering with Dignity, The Shade Tree, Hope Means Nevada and SafeNest. Wynn employees also donated over $500,000 to the Wynn Employee Foundation in 2020.
In terms of direct COVID-19 relief efforts, Wynn Resorts donated more than $4.5 million worth of financial aid, personal protective equipment, food and essential cleaning supplies to dozens of healthcare facilities and local nonprofit organizations throughout Las Vegas and Boston. The company donated 245,000 N95-equivalent respirator masks, 730,000 surgical masks, 580,000 pairs of medical gloves and 21,000 prepared meals. Wynn Las Vegas employees sewed over 4,000 handmade face coverings for the local community. The company also extended pay to their employees, investing close to $250 million in payroll expenses. Furthermore, Wynn Las Vegas offered a complimentary one-night stay for 10,000 first responders to show their appreciation.
To help protect the health and safety of guests and facilitate the return of group gatherings, Wynn Las Vegas has invested in the construction of a custom-built state-of-the-art COVID-19 testing lab located at the resort, accompanied by a mobile health app. The company also worked with University Medical Center to opens an on-site COVID-19 Vaccination Center at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas to serve people 70 and older, healthcare workers, and first responders initially. Wynn also sponsored up to 400 distance learning seats daily at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada for children of Wynn employees.
SAHARA Las Vegas
SAHARA Las Vegas teamed up with Chef José Andrés World Central Kitchen (WCK) to support more than 2,000 healthcare workers and 400 first responders by providing them meals for their COVID-19 relief efforts. Furthermore, SAHARA Las Vegas donated essential supplies to roughly 350 homeless people through the Cashman Isolation-Quarantine Complex, which included sheets, towels, washcloths, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap and lotion. The company also gave back to their workers through a team member food distribution event where over 500 employees turned out to receive complimentary bags of groceries, which included milk, eggs, cheese, beverages and fresh fruits and vegetables. Leftover food was then donated to Three Square Food Bank to support its Emergency Food Distribution Strategy.
Atlantis Casino Resort Spa Reno
Atlantis Casino Resort Spa Reno is committed to giving back to the community it serves in northern Nevada. Despite the many challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has presented, Atlantis has continued to provide support and valuable resources to those in need. When non-essential businesses were closed statewide, Atlantis immediately went into action, providing all its team members with two weeks’ pay to help cover any immediate expenses. The company donated over 3,000 pounds of perishable food to team members, the Food Bank of Northern Nevada and other local charities. Atlantis also donated 15,000 gloves, 5,000 face masks, 15 gallons of bleach, rollaway beds and cell phone chargers to Northern Nevada Medical Center. As a host site for the All Reno Radio Blood Drive, Give 2 Live Blood Drive, Heroes Remembered Blood Drive, Radio For Life Blood Drive and the Pam Bedard Blood Drive, Atlantis helped Vitalant collect 1,247 units of blood.
Atlantis proudly donates thousands of dollars to multiple charities and organizations annually. Recent charitable donations include $50,000 to MD Anderson Cancer Center, $25,000 to Honor Flight Nevada, an organization that flies veterans to Washington D.C. to see memorials erected in their honor, $10,000 to the University of Nevada, $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee and $3,000 to the Education Alliance of Washoe County, which helped with the purchase of laptops for distance learning. With the help of Everi Cares Giving Kiosks, Atlantis has given its guests the opportunity to donate slot machine change to select charities. Since the program’s inception in 2018, $124,561 has been collected and distributed to the American Cancer Society Great West Division, the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, Honor Flight Nevada, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeastern California and Northern Nevada and Team Rubicon.
Once Atlantis reopened, the company worked diligently to provide its guests and team members with a safe environment that exceeded local and state health requirements. Along with a vigorous cleaning and disinfecting routine, plexiglass dividers were installed throughout the property to provide an extra layer of protection for guests and team members. Additionally, state-of-the-art thermal temperature stations were installed at each of the building’s four entrances. Atlantis is the only hotel and casino in northern Nevada that screens its guests and team members individually as they enter the building. The company also provides its team members with free, COVID-19 rapid testing.
In an ongoing effort to increase the availability of environmentally friendly products, Atlantis has installed new water stations from Vivreau Advanced Water Systems. This premium drinking water is offered free of charge to all guests on the casino floor and at all casino bars. This will directly eliminate more than 45,000 single-use plastic water bottles per year. Using local on-site water reduces the casino’s carbon footprint in bottled water transportation and because Vivreau water is cooled on demand, the system has reduced refrigerated storage needs.
Note: Data represents only a small sampling of the member's corporate social responsibility work in Nevada.