NAACP President Reaches Out to Casino Operators

WFSB Channel 3

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) – The Springfield branch of the NAACP is calling for operators vying to place a casino in the city to provide fair participation of all aspects of casino employment for residents of color. The branch reached out to all four casino operators interested in Springfield and scheduled meetings with two of them. The first meeting was held Thursday with MGM Resorts. “Our communities are hurting and we want to make sure that any type of investment to the tune of [$800 million] to $900 million that is going to produce the level of opportunity that this will that those communities have an opportunity to fairly participate,” said Springfield NAACP President Rev. Talbert Swan. Thursday’s meeting took place behind closed doors but officials tell CBS 3 that officials discussed how MGM plans to incorporate communities of color in their casino process. “I think it is a reasonable request and I think that each of the organizations will have a fairly detailed response to that request,” Swan said. MGM CEO Jim Murren says that their plans in the City of Homes would certainly work to incorporate all members of the community. “Being a strong diversity builder that we have always been, a strong diversity hirer and vendor it is part of our core values,” said Murren. Now, Reverend Swan sent out letters requesting similar meetings to the other three casino operators interested in Springfield and has scheduled a meeting with Ameristar for Friday. There has not yet been any response from Hard Rock International and Penn National Gaming. In addition he also sent a letter to Mayor Domenic Sarno asking that the city consider requiring minimum standards of minority participation as a prerequisite for the city supporting a casino bid. Copyright WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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