The LGBT enjoyed another superb Pride month this year. In the UK, a giant inflatable footballer was one of the highlights at Brighton and Hove, while up in Liverpool, there was a marriage proposal by LCR Foundation co-chair John Bird at Liverpool Pride.
Meanwhile down in London, news reporters had spoken to a man who had travelled all the way from Uganda to come out and to experience the freedom of the festival.
Not only the UK has been celebrating Pride this summer. There have been events across the world. Best of all, not only people who are supporting the event, but also businesses.
The gay communities in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles may all be large, but one business is trying to draw visitors to Las Vegas as an LGBT destination: Caesars.
Casinos, Caesars and the LGBT community
Traditionally, visiting a casino has been all about getting dressed, making sure you have lots to spend — on games and on drinks — and head to a glitzy casino building for a big night out.
You can still do that, of course, but the days when that was the only option have long gone, thanks to technology.
Casinos have broken through into the online sphere, allowing customers to play at live casinos on desktop computers, mobile phone or tablet and experience the thrills of a casino in their home or on the move.
Online casinos have a whole variety of promotions to attract new players and to retain their existing customers, such as no deposit bonuses, welcome bonuses and more.
You can check out promotions at here, where you’ll find promotions from some of the top casino sites in the industry.
Caesars is one business in the industry which, as part of its promotions, has decided to back the LGBT community, which it is doing with a special loyalty card that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
The casino’s loyalty scheme, Caesars Rewards, has partnered with one of its business impact groups (BIGs), Equal, which advocates for the LGBTQ community and their allies.
It’s the first ever casino, too, to establish an LGBT employee group and is one of the best places to work for LGBTQ equality, having earned a perfect score for 12 years on the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Workplace Index.
The company also offers domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples, just as it does to opposite-sex partners.
Through the card, the casino hopes to learn more about its LQBT customers and make the right kinds of offerings to them in terms of events, venues and shows. The card is also a message of support to the community.
How does it stack up with other offerings from the casino world?
The casino world is awash with offers to entice new players through their doors or to keep existing customers playing in their casinos. Bonuses and other tempting promotions are easy to find.
That’s not to say casinos aren’t actively receiving the LGBT community, however. LGBT visitors to casinos may find they receive the best service from those casinos that combine with hotels.
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino has a reputation for being especially gay friendly — so gay friendly, in fact, that some people to the resort as ‘Mandalay Gay’.
Another fabulously gay-friendly hotel and casino is Luxor Hotel & Casino, which is situated on the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel hosts a weekly LGBT pool party, ‘Sunkissed Sunday’ as well as a fashion event, Closet Sundays.
The wedding chapel offers same-sex commitment ceremonies.
The hotel offers a ‘pride’ discount for guests who arrive from Sunday to Thursday.
It’s not only offline that the casino world is eaching out to the LGBT community. Tom’s Casino is a collaboration with legendary Finnish artist Tom of Finland, originally born Touko Laaksonen, and is specifically for the LGBT community.
Guests can play at the casino in the company of the artist, who is renowned for his homoerotic art and using his depictions of males in his art to spread a message of self-expression and tolerance.
His foundation, the Tom of Finland Foundation, boasts the largest collection of gay art in the world.
Inspiring casino resorts to reach out to the LGBT community
The move by Caesars to reach out to the LGBT community may inspire others in the industry to be more inclusive — and not only in the industry, but also in the surrounding community.
The chain’s Caesars Atlantic City Hotel and Resort may appeal to the LGBT community, but because the gaming industry started struggling in the resort city, the wider area also opened itself up to the LGBT community in the past few years.
The resort designated Park Place as being a gay beach.
The major gay events Sandblast, a three day Asbury Park festival, and StandOut a gay business expo were held in Atlantic City and the drag beauty pageant Miss'd America, which started there in 2014, is an annual event. These were all to encourage the gay community back to the resort.
The world is opening itself up more and more to the LGBT community displaying an attitude of tolerance and respect and gradually moving on from the days of frowning upon same-sex couples or abusing them, although attitudes in some parts still have some way to go before they’ll truly change.
The casino industry, too, is moving with this times and welcoming LGBT customers through their doors, online and offline, and showing them that they care.
Caesars Palace is a fine example, actively creating a card for LGBTs and a group for them within the community. The future looks bright for the community and, hopefully, there will be many more rainbows in the distance.