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MGM Resorts Executives Pitch New MD Resort Casino With Diversity Track Record

Executives from MGM Resorts International, the Las Vegas-based resort company, are taking their diversity and inclusion message more than 2,000 miles from Nevada to Maryland to help rally support for a new resort casino proposal there.

“Our diversity initiative has played a critical role in our outreach in this community. Generally speaking, Maryland residents know our brands but don’t know our company. When they hear about our diversity initiative, our community engagement and our environmental sustainability programs, they are more amenable to welcoming us as part of their community and voting in favor of Question 7,” said Phyllis A. James, executive vice president and chief diversity officer of MGM Resorts International.

Question 7 is a statewide ballot referendum Maryland voters will decide November 6. It seeks to expand the state’s five existing gaming facilities to include table games, such as blackjack and poker. It would also authorize a sixth casino license in Prince George’s County, a predominantly African-American community near Washington, D.C. In June 2012, MGM Resorts proposed building a world-class destination resort casino in National Harbor, a mixed-use development in Prince George’s County. Such a project can only be built if a majority of Maryland and Prince George’s County voters approve Question 7.

MGM Resorts has opened a community office in National Harbor, and company executives have been spending significant time in the area meeting with community and business leaders about the proposal. MGM Resorts’ project would create 2,000 jobs during construction, 4,000 permanent jobs at MGM’s resort once it is operational, and according to financial analysts an additional 4,400 indirect/induced permanent jobs.

Aside from bringing much needed new jobs to the area, company executives say an MGM destination resort would greatly benefit local and minority business partners and suppliers in the area. Since 2001, MGM Resorts has spent nearly $3 billion with minority-owned, women-owned and disadvantaged business enterprises through its Supplier and Construction Diversity programs.

“We have a very strong track record when it comes to promoting diversity in our workforce and our construction and supply chain, and we will continue that same commitment should we have the opportunity to build a destination resort in National Harbor,” said Ms. James. “Diversity is part of our DNA and an MGM resort at National Harbor would without question reflect that.”

MGM Resorts was the first company in the gaming industry to formally adopt a comprehensive diversity initiative. More than 11,000 employees have completed the company’s unique, multi-day Diversity Champion leadership training workshop. The percentage of managers in the organization has increased to 38 percent. MGM Resorts has been named among the Nation’s leading companies for diversity by DiversityInc Magazine and Black Enterprise magazine, among others.

“We are a socially responsible organization, and we are working diligently to share that part of our story with as many people as possible before Election Day,” Ms. James said. “It is vital that people understand who we are and why, if Question 7 passes, it will be a good thing for Maryland and for the National Harbor community.”

MGM Resorts’ philosophy is winning support in Maryland. The Question 7 coalition has been endorsed by many local elected officials, the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Redskins and many other community leaders and organizations.

To learn more about the MGM Resorts vision at National Harbor, Question 7 and the economic benefits its passage would bring, visit or
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