WASHINGTON –In recognition of National Volunteer Week, which runs April 21-27, commercial gaming companies nationwide are taking part in dozens of organized community service activities and the American Gaming Association released new research quantifying industry philanthropic contributions. The activities are part of the “All In for Giving & Volunteering” campaign coordinated by the AGA.
“Year after year, gaming companies and their employees have demonstrated that corporate social responsibility is ingrained in the way we do business,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., president and CEO of the AGA. “Their activities this week—and the research we’ve conducted—again show that their giving and volunteering efforts are substantial and are making positive contributions to gaming communities everywhere.”
Commercial gaming companies facilitate employee volunteer activities throughout the year, but a number of companies have coordinated special projects for this week. A sample of the community service projects that gaming employees will participate in includes:
Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. has several staff events planned at various local charities in the Las Vegas area for each day of the week, including building wooden toys for Toys4Smiles, assembling food and toiletry bags for seniors at Helping Hands, and organizing rooms and helping with spring cleaning at Street Teens.
All Ameristar Casinos, Inc. properties have plans, which include Ameristar Black Hawk (Colorado) employees helping coordinate the 2013 Craig Hospital Bowling tournament, Ameristar Council Bluffs employees assisting with highway cleanup, and the corporate office in Las Vegas hosting an eyeglass donation drive in conjunction with the local Lion’s Club.
IGT employees in Reno, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Roseville, Seattle and New Jersey will be participating in a host of activities throughout the week, including assisting the Salvation Army with Hurricane Sandy relief, conducting an Earth Day scavenger hunt to collect litter, learning how to recycle, and meeting with various local community organizations to learn more about them and available volunteer opportunities.
Isle of Capri Casino Hotel in Lake Charles, La. has activities scheduled all week, including building houses with Habitat for Humanity and assisting at Abraham’s Tent soup kitchen.
Isle of Capri Casino Hotel in Booneville, Mo. has a goal of logging 100 total volunteer hours during the week, with activities such as food preparation at a local food bank and storm clean up at Columbia Second Chance.
MGM Resorts International employees in Las Vegas will be working at the Desert Wildlife Refuge to plant native trees, flowers and perform cleanup.
WMS Gaming employees will be volunteering in Nevada, Missouri, Mississippi and Illinois with charities ranging from a book donation center and food banks to children’s hospitals and hospices.
The research outlined in the AGA’s new report, “A Commitment to Philanthropy: Surveying Charitable Giving and Volunteering in the Commercial Gaming Industry,” finds that employee volunteering and charitable giving are hallmarks of the gaming entertainment industry year round. According to the findings, responding industry companies contributed $135.78 million to charitable causes during the past year, $116.93 million of which came in the form of direct cash contributions. An additional $6.60 million came from employee fundraising efforts, $5.84 million came from in-kind charitable donations, and $6.15 million came from affiliated charitable foundations and trusts.
The paper also provides information on respondent company volunteer programs, revealing that 36,525 gaming industry employees participated in 1,670 volunteer events, contributing a total of 298,484 volunteer hours to non-profit organizations and charities during the past year. The cash value of this time equals $5.97 million (when placing the market value at $20 per hour performed—an industry standard when calculating such a value).
This year marks the second time the AGA has conducted research offering insight into the charitable giving and corporate volunteer programs of its membership. Twelve companies responded to the survey, and while this represents only a portion of all the industry’s philanthropic work, it nevertheless provides a valuable snapshot of the significant work being done in the commercial gaming sector. An infographic illustrating these data also was released.
Also in conjunction with National Volunteer Week, the AGA recognized 32 “Employee Volunteer All Stars” from 10 industry companies. Honorees were nominated by their companies for their outstanding commitment to volunteer service during the past year. Interviews and profiles of the winners are featured on the AGA website.
“All In for Giving & Volunteering” is a part of the larger “All In” campaign. This year-long, sustained and themed effort began in 2012 and showcases and quantifies the corporate social responsibility (CSR) contributions of the commercial gaming industry. The initiative focuses on industry successes relating to four areas of CSR: philanthropy, environmental sustainability, responsible gaming and diversity. The “All In” campaign highlights the significant role industry—as well as individual companies and employees—play in bettering communities and the environment.
Additional information about the “All In” campaign, including a downloadable version of the research paper and corresponding infographic, can be found in the philanthropy section of the AGA website.. For all the latest AGA and industry news, including updates about the “All In” campaign, follow the AGA on Twitter via @AmerGamingAssn and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americangaming.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) is the national trade association for the commercial casino industry. In addition to representing the interests of its members on federal legislative and regulatory issues, the AGA serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern.