Caesars Entertainment’s Jan Jones Blackhurst – Industry needs to get smart on diversity

Jan Jones Blackhurst, the former Mayor of Las Vegas and current Vice President of Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility at Caesars Entertainment has highlighted gender equality concerns facing the global gambling community.

Speaking to casino industry news source CasinoBeats (SBC.Global subsidiary), Blackhurst detailed that the sector had tainted itself during ICE 2018, a global gambling conference in which the sector hit headlines for ‘pole dancing’, rather than showcasing its latest technologies, products and services.

Leading Caesars public policy, Blackhurst highlights a legacy detachment between gambling stakeholders and the reality of their products servicing a diverse marketplace.

“In the US, for example, more than 50 percent of our slot-machine players are women, and I would think they would take offence to certain displays at the event. There is a difference between hiring attractive people to stand at your booth or area in order to draw attendees over, and hiring women who are wearing minimal clothing in order to draw over a limited demographic of men”.

Beyond the exhibition floor of ICE 2018, Blackhurst supports former UK Gambling Commission CEO Sarah Harrison’s industry warning on diversity, detailing to CasinoBeats that industry stakeholders have to ‘understand the expectations of their regulators, and Sarah Harrison made her position very clear’.

Blackhurst believes that it is simply too myopic, to believe that the industry is represented through its conference exhibitors and their choice of promotional representation.

For Caesars VP, the talk of ‘promo girls’, pole dancers and sex, distracts from the real issues facing the sector on overcoming equality and diversity challenges.

Blackhurst believes that future industry winners will be able to tackle diversity dilemmas head-on, as Caesars launches its ‘50/50 by 2025’ gender equality initiative.

“At Caesars Entertainment, we have launched a gender equality initiative, called 50/50 by 2025, in our effort to increase the number of women in management levels and above to 50/50 by the year 2025. We want women at our company to know they are valued and respected for their thoughts, ideas and innovations.”

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