The casino industry has not been spared when it comes to discrimination and racism, even if the industry itself has been marred with negativity like gambling addiction and legalities.
Issues about disabled employees being mistreated, women being looked down upon, and skin color exist in the gambling industry.
Discrimination of Disabled Employees
Recently, a Las Vegas hotel and casino has been in hot waters after a government agency filed complaints against alleged employment discrimination, especially among workers with disabilities or disorders.
The Las Vegas Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino received charges from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Apparently, it failed to provide employees with what the regulation called “reasonable accommodations.”
The establishment also allegedly fired an employee diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. Why? Because his colostomy bag somehow “endangered” other employees’ health.
Contrary to the claim of the business, their disabled workers have been forced to resign from their work. This is due to the lack of empathy from the management. Employees of this Las Vegas hotel suffer from disorders like levoscoliosis, or the curving of the spine, and sciatica, where the leg experiences pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling sensation.
Despite the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), many employers still do not follow the 33-year-old disability law.
Not just that, but also women are receiving discrimination in the industry. There are also incidents of racism and casinos protect these racist clients.
A gender disparity study by Toni Repetti and Shekinah Hoffman discovered that only a few women acquired leadership positions.
Historically, gambling has been viewed as a male-dominated activity. This stereotype may still influence the hiring and promotion decisions made by individuals and companies in the industry. This bias can manifest in a number of ways, such as assuming that men are more suited to certain roles or that women are not as committed to their jobs due to family obligations.
Moreover, women are perceived as tools, as sex symbols. Take, for instance, a gambling conference with a Playboy-themed show that included pole dancers.
The hostesses of the event also came forward. They revealed they had been harassed, prompting the UK Gambling Commission to issue a warning.
“It is time that companies woke up and realized that in 2018, using women’s bodies to sell stuff to men belittles both sexes. Worse even than this is people who think it’s just a laugh, who should understand that treating women’s bodies this way is part of the same culture that means schoolgirls routinely suffer sexual harassment and assault at school, for example,” said Member of Parliament Jess Phillips.
Another problem in the casino industry is how racism has been blatantly around the four corners of the building’s walls. A casino in London, for example, has been known to protect its wealthiest client who commits acts of racism.
An article by Alice Hancoc published in June 2022 revealed how wealthy clients of the Aspinals mistreated dealers of color.
A “million-pound customer” wished that female dealers with “fair skin” could only deal cards for him, which the casino blindly obliged.
The worker refused to accept this racist behavior. She filed a complaint against Aspinals, which the employee won in a partial victory.
Although the employee became victorious, black dealers of Aspinals tend to receive racial slurs from patrons. Objects like ashtrays, glasses, and even chairs were thrown at them because they were “rattled.”
A high-spending customer even threatened a former croupier of Aspinals unless she spun his numbers. But instead of a lifetime ban, he was only required to apologize. The customer did but only on a piece of paper using red ink.
As early as 1991, incidents of racism inside gambling premises have been recorded. The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino received sanctions after it shuffled black and female dealers to favor a big-betting craps player.
This is a clear indication that racism and discrimination have been deeply ingrained in the casino industry for decades. It is crucial for the industry to address this issue head-on. Because it will affect its employees and reputation which could attract diverse customers.
Fortunately, some steps have been taken to address issues like discrimination and racism. The UK Gambling Commission, for instance, has issued guidelines on how to avoid sexism and objectification of women in gambling marketing and advertising.
Similarly, the Las Vegas Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino were required to pay a hefty settlement to its disabled employees following the EEOC investigation.
However, much work still needs to be done. Employers in the gambling industry should be held accountable for providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, and they must make efforts to promote diversity in hiring and promotions.
In conclusion, the casino industry must acknowledge and address the issue of discrimination and racism. Only through concerted efforts toward inclusivity and equality can the industry continue to thrive and improve its reputation in the eyes of the public.