G2E News: 2022 Pride Roundtable

As June marks Pride Month, a celebration of sexual and gender diversity, G2E Insider spoke with three members of the industry about how their companies empower its employees and customers, both during Pride and year-round, and where they see the industry going in terms of diversity, inclusion, and representation.

Jeff De Korte (he/him), Executive Chair for EQUAL and SVP of Consumer Marketing, Caesars Entertainment

Caesars Entertainment works to create a community where team members feel comfortable bringing their whole, unique selves to work every day. One way we do that is by partnering with organizations to provide resources to our LGBTQ+ team members and opportunities to serve our community.

More than a decade ago, we established our first Business Impact Group (BIG) for LGBTQ+ team members and allies, EQUAL. Caesars Entertainment was the first in the industry to partner with the National LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce and continues to work with certified LGBTQ+ suppliers. The organization has been a guide for the company to help navigate critical issues and provide support to the communities we live and operate in and build up our team members.  

Since Caesars Entertainment merged with Eldorado Resorts in 2020, we now have 50+ properties across the U.S. While EQUAL’s home base and focus has mostly been in Las Vegas, we’re expanding the program, working with teams at our regional properties to ensure all team members feel supported and connected.

Caesars Entertainment is also a proud supporter of The Center, the LGBTQ+ community center in Southern Nevada, and their events such as Thanksgiving at the Center, the Youth Pride Prom, Las Vegas Pride Festival, and more. We provide financial assistance as well as volunteer time to ensure our communities are heard both at Caesars Entertainment and beyond.

We engage with these organizations by attending their events, but we also invite them into Caesars Entertainment to educate our team members. Last year, we hosted a town hall with the Trevor Project to discuss mental health, inclusive terminology, and allyship.

As a community, we’ve made great strides since the early days of EQUAL, but we know the work continues. Organizations like EQUAL are more critical today than when they were founded. We’re excited to meet that challenge with great leadership on our EQUAL board and with the support of the Caesars Entertainment senior leadership at our backs.

Keith Davis (he/him), Sales Director, G2E and RXUS Pride Chapter President, RX and Amar Batra (he/him), Content Manager, G2E and RXUS Pride Co-Education Chair, RX

RX’s emphasis on the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion and the power of community engagement is now part of its DNA. RX has opened the door for its employee resource groups (ERG) to be a foundation for learning and a safe space to grow professionally and personally.

RX, which co-owns G2E with the American Gaming Association, has the RXUS Pride Chapter, which is an ERG that serves as an LGBTQ+ educational resource for all RX employees and provides a platform for LGBTQ+ voices to be heard, seen, and celebrated. This month, the chapter celebrates its third year and established a sense of trust between RX employees. The leadership team has consistently emphasized that all Pride discussions are safe spaces to learn and grow. A testament to the culture established by RXUS Pride Chapter, RX team members have shared how the chapter’s sessions helped them navigate LGBTQ+ conversations with family and friends. To see this kind of impact is inspiring.

As the place where the global gaming industry comes together, it’s imperative that G2E cultivates a culture of inclusion that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our industry. When planning G2E content, we make sure we engage diverse voices year-round and on-site and proactively amplify a community from a wide variety of backgrounds. G2E has a tremendous history of working with groups that promote diversity, such as Global Gaming Women and the Indian Gaming Association and will continue to work closely with groups that align with G2E’s DEI efforts. 

The gaming industry is incredibly welcoming and kind, and there is strong support for LGBTQ+ representation from all segments, especially from industry leaders. It has been wonderful to see LGBTQ+ creators and stakeholders highlighted across the industry and hear more calls for inclusion, diversity, and visibility.

Pride is a special month as many people on the G2E team are members of the RXUS Pride Chapter and are members or allies of the LGBTQ+ community. Internally at RX, we want to see this kind of engagement continue to grow, with the hope to see the chapter expand its reach with as many diverse LGBTQ+ voices as possible and extend this to the G2E community.  When we truly listen to the voices of others, especially those who offer different perspectives and experiences, we can hear the echoes of our own authentic self. In this space, barriers and fears begin to breakdown and progress is made.