|In the States, large casino operators in Nevada are running a voting drive for employees, to encourage them to vote in this year’s elections. After legislative decisions made last year that went against the wants of the gambling community- mainly regarding taxes for the industry- several of the leading companies are now encouraging their employees to register as voters, and are campaigning to promote the importance of their vote.|
Jan Jones of Harrah’s explained the steps being taken: “The last legislature raised awareness in the industry…We have thousands of employees. It is important to educate, register and mobilise these employees”. MGM Mirage have had a pogramme of encouragement in place for a long time- over 10 years- but are now adding to their efforts by providing transportation to employees to attend early voting sites. Alan Feldman a spokesperson for the company said that as well as the possible benefits for the industry that lies in increasing industry employees’ attendance, there is gain also for the employees, namely that it will help them to feel more a part of their community: 'It will make them feel better about themselves, it will make them feel better about their community'.
MGM Mirage also provide a voting guide for employees, but deny that this will result in uniform voting amongst their ranks. Station Casinos is another company embarking on a campaign for voting- they are providing similar voting guides, helping with registering voters, transporting them to election sites, and providing information guides to aid educating employees on how the government works.
Lesley Pittman emphasises that their actions are entirely legal, with the company making clear to staff that they are not required to vote one way or another, “It’s just nothing more than a guide, certainly we don’t want to get into the business of telling our team members how to vote”. He explained the importance of encouraging employees to have a say in elections, “They have a lot of power in their hands. I think the whole industry has”. In Nevada employees of gaming companies account for 25.8 percent of the whole workforce and 11 of the top 15 employers are gaming companies.