Have you heard of People Planet Play? It’s our new name for our longstanding commitment to our team members, our communities, environmental excellence and Responsible Gaming. This week, we launched our People Planet Play report on all that we accomplished in 2016 (with some select stories from 2017, too). Please check out our highlights below and let us know what you think.
People, Planet, Play is Caesars Entertainment’s commitment to our communities, environmental excellence and Responsible Gaming. It also closely aligns with our mission to inspire grownups to have fun. It’s a new expression for how we connect our Code of Commitment, Citizenship programs and internal brands like CodeGreen together, creating a consistent and recognizable approach for our team members, stakeholders and guests. It also supports some specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that Caesars is working towards. While People, Planet, Play is new, our commitments are longstanding and strong – in fact, we were recently recognized by Civic 50 as one of the most community-minded companies in the nation.
So what’s it all about? Keep reading to learn how familiar Caesars Entertainment initiatives fit into People, Planet, Play.
People: Supporting the wellbeing of our employees, guests and local communities.
Caesars Entertainment and our properties around the country and the world are successful because of our team members. Our value of Caring Culture means we place great importance on the health and wellbeing of our employees. We go beyond traditional benefits programs to provide the best options to ensure that team members maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle through programs like Wellness Rewards. Diversity and safety are also top priorities.
In a similar vein, our Caring Culture means that we take an active role to improve lives in our communities. Team members volunteer through our HERO program, and our Foundation supports nonprofits in local communities and beyond with grants.
Planet: Caring for our environment to preserve the quality of life on Earth.
Caesars team members were the early drivers of environmental sustainability at Caesars, leading to the creation of CodeGreen, which focuses on minimizing core environmental impacts. Our CodeGreen Challenge celebrates these efforts each year. We also work beyond the four walls of our gaming-entertainment properties – learn more about how we work with our supply chain to understand climate impacts.
One of the best benefits of our Planet initiatives is that we’re taking care of environmental sustainability behind the scenes so our guests can relax and have fun!
Play: Creating memorable experiences for our guests and leading Responsible Gaming practices in the industry.
Our mission is inspiring grown-ups to play, and the Play pillar of People Planet Play is all about memorable experiences. Our award-winning Total Rewards program rewards guests for their loyalty. Through our Responsible Meetings and Events Certification, the Caesars Meetings team integrates environmental practices into event design and management. Additionally, our Meetings for Good offering helps clients contribute to society at our meeting venue locations through partnerships with local nonprofits.
Caesars was the first in our industry to develop Responsible Gaming guidelines more than 25 years ago, and it remains a top priority. Our program comprises research, innovative technology and practical tools and comprehensive training for all staff.
So that’s People, Planet, Play – why and how we take care of our guests, team members, communities and environment. Our CEO, Mark Frissora, introduced People, Planet, Play at a Town Hall in May – and he also shared this video. You’ll hear more about it in August when we launch our next Citizenship Report, which will detail everything we’ve accomplished last year in the areas of People, Planet, Play. Stay tuned!
Did you know that Caesars Entertainment has locations around the world, including the U.K, Egypt and South Africa? They’re managed by our Caesars Entertainment Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) business, which is based in London.
Like every city, London has a population of people that faces homelessness on a daily basis. St-Martin-in-the-Field—an Anglican church known around the world for its music and by Londoners for its charitable work—is doing something about this challenge through its nonprofit, The Connection.
Located in the West End neighborhood of the city’s Westminster borough, The Connection at St-Martin-in-the-Field helps approximately 200 homeless Londoners each day, ages 16-60. Through progressive programs including street outreach, a day center and an overnight center, The Connection offers services including health care, nutritious meals and bathing facilities. It also provides transition into education, housing and employment and assistance with drug, alcohol and gambling addiction. The Connection is especially focused on helping people find permanent housing.
Caesars Entertainment EMEA has a longstanding commitment to Responsible Gaming, including work on the National Casino Forum’s UK-wide SENSE self-inclusion program. Thus, we were eager to support The Connection’s worthy mission of providing support for gambling addiction among 4,000 of its clients. The Casino at the Empire in Leicester Square had been providing financial contributions to The Connection for several years, and we wanted to see what else could be done.
Each week, The Connection hosts an addiction therapist from the National Problem Gambling Clinic, who provides group meetings and individual counseling for about 25 individuals. Our annual donation funds this program in its entirety.
Through the program, clients say they learned about the roots of their addiction as well as better decision-making skills. This is especially valuable, because the presence of many small “betting shops” in the West End area near St-Martin-in-the-Fields have clients of The Connection especially tested by their environment. It is our hope that our continued support of the program will prove valuable to The Connection’s clients and the entire West End community.
Meals on Wheels America is a household name —people know that the organization helps seniors access healthy meals without having to leave their homes. Ten million seniors nationwide struggle with hunger, so Meals on Wheels has a big (and important!) job to do. In fact, it’s the oldest and largest national organization supporting community-based programs dedicated to ending senior hunger.
For these reasons, Caesars Foundation has supported Meals on Wheels America since 2002, donating 60 meal delivery vehicles in 18 states – more than any other company. Meals on Wheels operates in virtually every community in America through a network of more than 5,000 independently-run local programs. In Memphis, not far from our Horseshoe Tunica and Tunica Roadhouse, Caesars Foundation just donated its 60th vehicle to the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA). This will help MIFA in its work to serve 12,876 meals each month to local seniors.
In the words of Sally Jones Heinz, President and CEO of MIFA, “The addition of the vehicle will allow us to consolidate deliveries and utilize volunteers in other areas to be able to expand our services and serve more individuals across all of our missions as efficiently as possible.” Providing a meal is a worthwhile contribution on its own, but it also appears to be a health tool. Research conducted by Brown University found that those receiving Meals on Wheels’ home-delivered meals had lower anxiety, isolation, hospitalizations and falls compared to a control group that did not receive meals. The ongoing visits from friendly meal delivery volunteers are a bright spot in seniors’ days – and provide a needed safety check. For many seniors, Meals on Wheels enables them to “age in place” in their own homes, rather than be hospitalized or relocate to a long-term care facility.
Caesars Foundation’s donation to MIFA through Meals on Wheels is part of our annual Senior Appreciation Quarter (May-July). Maybe you’ve read about how we work with Second Wind Dreams to “grant” seniors’ dreams or with Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health to support healthy brains. It’s all part of Senior Appreciation Quarter and Caesars Foundation’s dedication to helping older individuals live longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives. Learn more about Caesars Foundation’s efforts to support seniors, and much more, here.
Each year, our HERO Stars Grand Prize celebrates Caesars Entertainment’s top three HERO Star volunteers. Past winners were awarded trips to Baltimore and Atlantic City to lead largescale volunteer activities, but this year we’re keeping festivities local so winners can celebrate with their coworkers, family and friends. As a bonus, winners get to lead a local volunteer activity with support from the Caesars Entertainment corporate team.
We’re excited to announce 2017’s top HERO Stars: Earnestine Richard, Dianna Lerma and Harrah’s Resort Southern California’s dynamic duo, Bryon Nuttall and Jerrod Phillips!
Ernestine Richards, Casino Services Cashier, HORSESHOE TUNICA
Over the past year, Ernestine has shown incredible dedication to the American Cancer Society Harrah’s Hope Lodge in Memphis, which provides free lodging and a warm, home-like atmosphere to cancer patients undergoing treatment.
Ernestine participates in regular Game Nights and Dinner Nights at the Hope Lodge, chatting with residents, serving dinner and playing bingo. The Hope Lodge’s manager greatly appreciates Ernestine’s kind dedication, saying that residents ask for her by name, hoping she’ll be joining them for dinner or bingo. Ernestine certainly is committed, having not missed a Game Night or Dinner Night since last January. In total, she’s volunteered a total of 71 hours, serving as a friendly presence to 240 cancer patients at a difficult time in their lives.
Dianna Lerma, Table Games Supervisor, HARRAH’S JOLIET CASINO
Dianna is known by guests and colleagues alike as the face of the Joliet Relay for Life, for which the community of Joliet rallies to support local agencies that provide care to people facing cancer. Dianna is proud to lead her colleagues in supporting cancer survivors, including financial support for treatment, wigs, rides and assistance for caregivers. Involved with the organization for more than five years, Dianna raised a whopping $12,500 in 2016 alone. Dianna also supports other community needs, including local Vietnam Veterans organizations and leukemia and lymphoma awareness.
Bryon Nuttall, Planning and Analysis Manager & Jerrod Phillips, Business & Process Improvement Manager,
For the second year in a row, Jerrod and Bryon led the charge for a local Soup and Beans Drive, helping Harrah’s Resort Southern California regain the top spot in the citywide competition. Between them, they brought in more than 600 cans of soup and beans, doing more than their share to ensure that 900 seniors in San Diego County would not go hungry. Jerrod also helped to pack thousands of cans for distribution.
Both Jerrod and Bryon have taken part in a number of volunteer activities over the past year, including our HERO Blood Drives, the Bowling for Equality event benefiting the Human Rights Campaign and our Giving Tuesday activities, such as the Oceanside Beach Clean-Up.
Pop the champagne! Caesars Entertainment has been named to the The Civic 50as the leading company in the consumer discretionary sector, which includes non-essentials like apparel, cars, travel and, of course, gaming and entertainment. An initiative of Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to helping companies build volunteer programs, The Civic 50 honors the 50 most community-minded companies.
The Civic 50 award recipients were selected based on four components: investment, integration, institutionalization and impact. Here’s what the components mean – and how our programs achieve results in these areas:
- Investment: How companies apply resources like employee volunteering and donations to community engagement
- Example: the Caesars Foundation has donated more than $72 million to local nonprofits that help older individuals, promote a more sustainable world and improve quality of life based on local community needs
- Integration: How companies integrate their U.S. community engagement programs into key business functions
- Institutionalization: How companies support community engagement through policies, systems and incentives
- Example: our commitment to diversity. As of 2016, 42% of managers are women, and 34% of managers are minorities
- Impact: How companies measure the social and business impact of their community engagement program
- Example: HERO volunteer program, through which team members have reported more than 400,000 volunteer hours each year
Guests are part of communities, too, and they’re very important to us! That’s why we pioneered the casino entertainment industry’s first responsible gaming effort. Caesars works with the National Council on Problem Gambling, Inc., and provided the initial funding to establish the Council’s 24-hour toll free helpline. All Caesars’ properties also have Responsible Gaming Ambassadors who promote Responsible Gaming to guests and offer assistance to those that may not be gambling responsibly.
For these efforts and more, Caesars is in the top 10% of The Civic 50 list. We are humbled by the dedication of our team members – from HERO Chairs to CodeGreen enthusiasts to corporate and Foundation staff – that make this achievement possible.
For the past ten years, Caesars has received a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for our dedication to treating employees and guests equally. While we’re always learning new ways to support diversity and inclusion, here are a few suggestions on how companies can create a friendly and open workplace for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.
Show You Care
There are many different ways to show LGBTQ employees – and LGBTQ customers – you care. For example, we have a dedicated business resource group for LGBTQ employees and ally team members, EQUAL. The first of its kind in the gaming and entertainment industry, EQUAL provides professional networking and volunteer opportunities for its members and helps to foster and promote equality internally and externally for Caesars.
Benefits are another important way for companies to recognize families of all types. Healthcare is important, but there are other benefits that are appreciated, too. We are proud to offer benefits like Family and Medical Leave, bereavement leave and company discounts to domestic partners, same-sex spouses and opposite-sex spouses alike.
We also recognize the value that LGBTQ employees offer our company, so we make an effort to recruit LGBTQ candidates for jobs through career fairs at The Center, which serves LGBTQ community members throughout Southern Nevada.
Finally, companies can support local, state and federal policies that benefit their LGBTQ employees. As an example, we have long been public supporters of policies and advocacy around relationship recognition and anti-discrimination on state and federal levels.
Align the Business
A commitment to equality should be present throughout all aspects of a business for it to be truly meaningful. That’s why we work to not only care for our LGBTQ employees, but to support the entire LGBTQ community with our business practices.
Over the years, we have developed our nightclub scene, advertising and destination events to cater to LGBTQ guests and tourists. We also support Pride events around the country each June. Since Vegas is a great place to get married, we ensure our LGBTQ guests have wedding and honeymoon packages especially tailored for them. To ensure our marketing campaigns for LGBTQ guests are always authentic, EQUAL helps us brainstorm ideas.
We also support the LGBTQ community through our supplier diversity commitment of
economic inclusion. We track our spending with LGBTQ-owned suppliers just like we track spending with women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses.
Use Proper Pronouns
Gender identity and expression are important concepts, so we provide ongoing training to leadership and team members specifically related to LGBTQ issues. This helps us work to ensure that all guests feel comfortable visiting Caesars locations.
One question that comes up a lot is related to gender identity: an individual’s internal sense of being male, female, both or neither. It’s important to remember that this may or may not be visible to others through expression. Expression is how a person represents their gender identity through following typical behavior, clothing or body characteristics related to a specific gender.
Transgender people are those who identify as a different gender from which they were born. They may inform you of which pronoun (she/her, he/his, they/their – or something else entirely) they prefer. In the absence of knowing for sure, and where asking could create some awkwardness, we find using names to often work just fine.
We hope the above ideas have given you some food for thought as you think about how to make your company or workplace a more LGBTQ friendly environment.
Who says going green can’t be fun?!?! We asked our world-famous bartenders and chefs to create eco-inspired cocktails that were enjoyed around the country during April, which is Earth Month. And they rose to the occasion! The winners were selected based on the creativity and popularity of the cocktail. Check out these recipes, all of which are made with locally-sourced ingredients and served in a no-waste cup.
Our amazing team created more than 20 unique and delicious cocktails. The winners receive a $500 donation made to a nonprofit of the location’s choice. Read on for some happy hour inspiration, including photos and cocktail ingredients.
And cheers to our planet!
The Spicy Margarita: Basil- and jalapeno-infused syrup, Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila, Sierra Mist and a basil-leaf garnish
Gold Rush: A CodeGreen Cocktail: Locally sourced honey, fresh squeezed lemon and Jim Beam Bourbon.
Strawberry Pie Martini: Tito’s vodka, vanilla bean, Louisiana strawberries and locally sourced raw honey
Green Kitty Punch: Tito’s vodka, Malibu mango rum, pineapple juice and grenadine, topped with cherries and citrus slices
Horseshoe Sangria: Kiepersol Red Blend Wine, fresh Louisiana berries and fruit
Congrats to the inaugural CodeGreen Cocktail Challenge winners and thanks to all who participated!
Our annual CodeGreen Challenge is a neck-and-neck competition for the greenest location of all! It gets our teams pumped up about reducing environmental impact and giving back to the communities where we live and work. This year, Caesars Windsor took the eco-friendly cake, with Harrah’s Ak-Chin in second place. It was too hard to pick a third place winner, so we awarded a tie to three locations in both Las Vegas and in Atlantic City!
First Place: Caesars Windsor
Clad in CodeGreen hockey jerseys, Caesars Windsor team members built team member and guest participation with CodeGreen activities. From collecting clothing to be donated to Goodwill, to gathering batteries, glasses and e-waste at properties, they made an impact while educating people on just how many household items should be recycled. Thanks to their efforts, more than 2,100 new trees were planted in the Windsor community and 1,500 Clean the World Hygiene kits filled with soap, shampoo and conditioner delivered to local shelters. Caesars Windsor’s work was so recognized that the media covered their efforts 20 times in a mere six weeks!
Caesars Windsor sweetened the deal for guests with giveaways, including three hybrid cars and CAD $30,000 (USD $22,300), plus double Total Reward credits for guests who opt in to the location’s CodeGreen hotel rooms.
Second Place: Harrah’s Ak-Chin
Harrah’s Ak-Chin secured its third consecutive CodeGreen Challenge win with another year of stellar participation: Two-thirds of team members took part in some kind of CodeGreen activity during the Challenge! One of the location’s big projects was ensuring that a planned demolition of a bingo hall didn’t create waste – team members ensured the donation of tables and chairs to the local Ak-Chin tribe, recycling in total more than 51,000 pounds of items.
On Earth Day, Harrah’s Ak-Chin had a special celebration in partnership with the Ak-Chin community, sharing a CodeGreen breakfast and educating people on all things green, from wildlife preservation to sustainable artwork. They took first place in the booth contest, drawing attendees in with their bicycle powered slot machine.
Flamingo, Cromwell and LINQ worked together to host sustainability activities that touched thousands of guests and team members in the Las Vegas region. They supported two nonprofit partners – National Park Trust and Clean the World – by leading more than 100 elementary school students on an outdoor discovery adventure at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and setting up soap sorting days at the Clean the World recycling center. These locations also hosted the inaugural “Recycled Fashion Show” at the LINQ promenade, where our team members strutted across the runway in outfits made from upcycled materials.
Atlantic City leveraged Earth Month excitement to promote Meetings for Good, a menu of volunteer opportunities for our meetings and conventions clients. There were five groups that built in a Meetings for Good volunteer activity, supporting United Way, Humane Society, Clean the World and Salvation Army.
The three locations also hosted clean-ups, an Earth Day festival, participated in National Walking Day and much more. Plus, it was a special treat to see Hamiyd Washington, HR Trainer, dress up as Buddy Bison for local schools as part of the National Park Trust’s environmental education program!
Thanks to all Caesars Entertainment locations who participated in the CodeGreen Challenge this year!
While Caesars Entertainment and Caesars Foundation support older individuals year-round, May is particularly special as it is officially the beginning of Senior Appreciation Quarter. Each year, team members create special opportunities for seniors to inspire healthy aging and enhance quality of life. At the end of Senior Appreciation Quarter, we’ll share the fun and educational activities that took place at our locations around the U.S. For now, here’s one way we support seniors throughout the year in partnership with Caesars Foundation.
Second Wind Dreams is a nonprofit working to change the perception of aging through the fulfillment of dreams. Since 2009, Second Wind Dreams, Caesars Foundation, and HERO volunteers have fulfilled dreams and hosted events for 3,000-plus elders. To date, Caesars Foundation has contributed nearly $1.4 million to Second Wind Dreams.
Caesars Foundation supports Second Wind Dreams’ partnerships with Caesars locations in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and New Orleans. Activities vary based on local seniors’ interests. For example, in Las Vegas, High Roller Day is a hit. HEROs roll out the red carpet for seniors and give them a ride on the High Roller before it opens to the public. In Atlantic City, the Foundation at Second Wind Dreams hosts a luncheon at Harrah’s and takes elders to a Philadelphia Eagles football game. New Orleans is focused on monthly visits to nursing homes with a variety of fun activities, from manicures to bingo games to auctions. Seniors in the New Orleans nursing homes served by Second Wind Dreams are from especially disadvantaged backgrounds, so ongoing activities are appreciated.
Making Dreams Come True
“We strive to always have it be a surprise when we fulfill dreams,” says Amy Safran, Director, Community Relations for Second Wind Dreams. Read on to find out how Caesars Foundation funded dream fulfillment for two deserving older adults.
Stella: Ninety-year-old Stella, a resident of a Las Vegas area retirement community, has no family in the area. She is close with her niece, Judy, though they hadn’t spent time together in person in 10 years because Judy lives in Chicago. To surprise Stella, Second Wind Dreams flew Judy and her husband to the Senior Appreciation Luncheon at Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace. There were tears all around as aunt and niece reunited.
Martin: Texas resident and World War II veteran Martin dreamed of visiting the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Because he lives in an assisted living facility, the trip wasn’t feasible. Second Wind Dreams flew Martin and his daughter to New Orleans and hosted them at Harrah’s. Second Wind Dreams also arranged for the museum staff to give Martin a special greeting in honor of his service to our country.