Harrah’s Is Trying Damn Hard to Get the Gay Gambling Business. Will You Pull Their Handle?


If any of you have disposable income right now, and feel like flitting it away on slot machines and craps tables, casino giant Harrah’s would just love it if you spent those 20s with its gambling properties. After all, they’ve been doing so much for the gays lately.

Let’s get this right out of the way: Harrah’s Entertainment is a freakin’ giant corporation. Its annual revenue is in the upper ten-figures (that’s billions, BTW). It operates casinos, hotels, and other entertainment venues in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno, and elsewhere. And with revenue falling, you can be sure every move it makes is pure business.

And yet, or because of, Harrah’s wants you gays.

The owner of Caesars Palace, Bally’s, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Paris, and the Rio came out swinging for the gays earlier this year when it called on Gov. Jim Gibbons to pass a civil unions bill. (He declined, but legislators overrode his veto.) You could say Harrah’s was on the right side of equal rights, or more accurately, it didn’t want to miss out on the wedding industry biz a law like that would ultimate provide.

Harrah’s’ inroads with the gays isn’t new. It regularly targets the LGBT demographic. (The company is a Queerty advertiser. This post is not tied to any paid ad campaign.) As Transracial points out, it’s doubling down on an East Coast effort to draw the homos to its Atlantic City properties. September’s “Out in Atlantic City” is a weekend of Harrah’s-sponsored gay festivities, with some 1,000 gays expected to drop in to see Amanda Lepore’s breasts and Lance Bass’ ass.

But the company’s friendliness with the gays appears to be more than a gimmick; Harrah’s provides things like health care benefits to the partners of its gay employees, something it’s not required by law to do.

At a time when certain corporate behemoths continue turning their backs on LGBTs (while reaping enormous profits), might we candidly suggest it’s time to start, or at least firm up, our own efforts to spend dollars with the companies who don’t consider us “less than”?

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