As a longtime owner and operator of regional gaming and hotel facilities, we have sought to operate by the highest standards. Our management team has prioritized strong regulatory compliance, financial discipline and oversight. We have worked to contribute to each of our communities across the country, act as good neighbors, and support our employees and their families.
Naturally, the world continues to evolve. Today investors, regulators, public officials and consumers expect companies in all industries to engage more directly in critical environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) issues. Our key stakeholders now want a more structured accounting of our business on issues ranging from carbon emissions to environmental conservation and workplace diversity.
For our small but fast-growing company, this transition aligns with our established values and our strategy of thoughtful, profitable expansion. For example, we are proud to report:
- Three members of our Board of Directors are female or ethnically diverse — above the levels established by Nasdaq’s board diversity rules;
- Our Board of Directors includes one LGBT+ director;
- 50% of our properties are led by women;
- 69% of our corporate executives and staff are female or ethnically diverse;
- Of our 1,718 full- and part-time property employees as of April 1, 2023, 52% are female and 33% are ethnically diverse; and
- All employees, including managers, are scheduled to receive yearly training for equal-opportunity and nondiscriminatory employment practices, as well as anti-harassment training.
As we grow, we plan to expand our focus on ESG issues through more structured initiatives, such as:
- Establishing measurable goals for environmental issues, particularly greenhouse-gas emissions;
- Quantifying the climate-related risks that we face;
- Conserving energy, water, and other natural resources, as well as focusing on waste reduction, renewable energy, and composting/recycling programs;
- Expanding our focus on employee diversity, equity and inclusion;
- Working to increase diversity among our management, employees, vendors and partners;
- Promoting diversity among contractors for supplies, services and construction; and
- Encouraging the use of sustainable and ethically sourced goods and services.
Our latest projects reflect this approach. At our American Place development in Waukegan, for example, we have set goals to utilize at least 25% minority-owned businesses as subcontractors, as well as firms owned by women, U.S. military veterans, and people with a disability.
In February 2023, we opened the first phase of our American Place development, a temporary casino aptly named The Temporary. Some items of note regarding The Temporary’s construction include:
- Construction of The Temporary was led by a joint venture that included one of the largest Black-owned companies in the country and the fourth-largest minority-owned business in Chicago;
- The Temporary includes a large electric vehicle charging station, which we believe is one of the largest in the Chicagoland area and the state of Illinois; and
- The Temporary is rated to be more energy efficient than most typical commercial office buildings, despite our structure being temporary in nature.
At our properties, our employees regularly serve as community donors and volunteers, working both in-house and through local nonprofits and charitable organizations. In addition to each property’s annual monetary contributions to nonprofits, regional initiatives include:
- Donating hundreds of holiday meals to those in need;
- Holding food drives for regional food pantries, schools and churches;
- Donating water, food and other essential items to hurricane-stricken communities;
- Funding local scholarship and internship programs;
- Teaming up with local partners to benefit Toys for Tots, the Boys and Girls Club, Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army, local firefighters, 4-H, and other organizations;
- Participating in community beach and river cleanups; and
- Supporting the Two-Mile-High Club in Cripple Creek, which cares for feral donkeys descended from the historic mining town’s original drove.
In addition, our team members across the country volunteer for a broad range of programs and organizations. Our employees serve on the boards of several local entities that support regional development; the casino/resort industry; tourism; youth sports; responsible gaming; animal welfare; and other causes.
Our management team will work to keep our employees, regulators, investors and communities informed of new ESG developments and policies. Given the size of our company and our available resources, some of these initiatives may take longer than others to develop over time. As always, we will work to meet or exceed regulatory and statutory requirements in a timely, transparent manner.